With war clouds gathering in the summer of 1914, a South Beds Territorial Recruiting Week was opened with a review at Luton Hoo on May 30th, 1914, at which the salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mr S. Howard Whitbread, in his plumed helmet.
The review, said the Luton Reporter of June 1st, 1914, was a brilliant spectacle, and proved in every sense a worthy opening of the important events of the week. The review ground constituted the magnificent stretch of the Hoo Park known as Jackson's Hill, off London Road, an ample expanse for a big parade imposing no restriction as to the movements. What was even more appreciable to the general public, there was room enough to spare for the many thousand spectators to witness every part of the proceedings without the slightest necessity for crushing. A special enclosure was reserved for the ladies of the Voluntary Aid Detachment.
On the review ground the Herts Yeomanry were early in position, under the command of Col Abel Smith, and their band provided a number of selections while the crowd were pouring into the park from Luton. Later, the 5th Battalion Beds Regiment arrived, headed by their drums and fifes and the Regimental Band and including their Maxim gun detachment, and took up position in the centre of the review ground. They were followed by two contingents of National Reservists from Luton and Dunstable.
Col Butler, commanding officer of the 5th Beds Regiment, was in charge of the parade, and the arrival of the Lord Lieutenant was announced by a bugle call. In his picturesque uniform as Lord Lieutenants, Mr Howard Whitbread was accompanied by a military aid-de-camp. Following his inspection there was a march past, but no speech-making.
Lady Wernher, who had offered the use of her park for the review, was also photographed by Mr W. H. Cox with the Lord Lieutenant and with Luton Mayor Councillor W. J. Primett.
In the evening a large number of people attended a military tattoo featuring the 5th Battalion Beds Regiment (Luton Detachment) at Wardown Park. The tattoo closed with a march past by the Regiment.