This page contains a list of events that occured in Luton and surroundings 1914-1919, as well as global events that affected Luton's people.
When you add an ancestor to this site, it is always a good idea to try and connect them to an 'event' that happened in their life. E.g. if they fought at the Battle of the Somme, then you can make this connection on the 'Add Person' form.
The Nivelle Offensive 1917, was a Franco–British offensive on the Western Front in the
A strike by engineers engaged in the munitions industry that had begun in Rochdale, Yorkshire, and spread to other parts of the country, had reached Luton by May 1917, leading to a flashpoint involving soldiers at the Labour Club in Bute Street on Friday, May 11th.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 Britain still relied on volunteers to serve in the armed forces. But there were others prepared to do their bit at home as a civilian army in the event of an enemy invasion.
A clipping from the Leighton Buzzard Observer reports the death of this pilot
In order to elicit the sympathies of the boys at the Old Bedford-road Boys’ School, the teachers are stimulating interest in the local hospital at Wardown by egg collecting. It is surprising what can be effected in this way, and some beneficial assistance given.
The Battle of Messines (7–14 June 1917) was an offensive conducted by the British Second Army, under the command of
Remaining in care: 53
Just before midnight on Sunday, July 9th, 1917, disaster struck the Dreadnought battleship HMS Vanguard as she lay at anchor in Scapa Flow in the Orkneys.
What the Luton News hailed as one of the most interesting of Society events took place on July 20th, 1917, with the wedding of Major Harold Augustus Wernher, second son of the late Sir Julius Wernher and Lady Wernher, of Luton Hoo, and Countess Anastasia (Zia) de Torby, elder daughter of the Gran
There was a good muster of Biscot boys on Friday evening at a concert given on the ground adjoining the Church Army Hut in Dunstable-road, when Mr. John Gates presided. Mr. W. R. Phillips, J. P.. lent a party of men to erect a, substantial platform, and the arrangements were capably carried out.
On Saturday afternoon, forty patients from the F.M.S. Military Hospital. Blackmore End. Wheathampstead, and ten patients from Wardown V.A.D. Hospital, were entertained in the large mess-room at Messrs. G. Kent's. Ltd., by the girls of No. 121 Fuse Department.
The Battle of Passchendaele (or Third Battle of Ypres or "Passchendaele") was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the
This Saturday afternoon an interesting boxing tournament took place on the Luton F.C. ground, when a military boxing tournament was organised by the Number 6 Reserve Brigade Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.) in aid of local charities.
When Elsie Annie Reid married Gunner James Arthur Bint at the Baptist's Union Chapel in Luton on the 8th of September 1917 she was then employed as a munitions worker. Her father's occupation was recorded as a postman and her father-in-law, James Frederick Bint, a smallholder.
On Tuesday 13th November 1917. King George V, visited Luton to inspect the Thermo munitions works off Hitchin Road, the George Kents works in Biscot Road, and to meet local dignitaries.
[From The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, November 13th, 1917]
The Battle of Cambrai (20 November – 7 December 1917) was a British campaign of the First World War.
The 1918 Flu Pandemic, often know as the Spanish Flu, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic that swept the world between January 1918 and December 1920. This was the first of the two known pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus (the second being the 2009 flu pandemic).
Col. Alexander’s Farewell.
The Y.M C.A. hut at Biscot was crowded on Tuesday night, when a farewell concert was given to Col. C. H. and Mrs. Alexander. Col. Alexander has been appointed to a still more important command of the Royal Artillery.
At Wardown (Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital sic) on Saturday, a concert was arranged by Mr. A.F.
- Some of the munitions girls who were working at Chaul End around the time of the explosion. Injured Eva Poulton may be among them.
A 'Recruiting Campaign for Girls' was reported in the Luton News in May 1918 in an effort to help enrol 30,000 maidens to the land.
" We refer to the struggle to obtain food from the land"
Saturday, June 1st, 1918, was Maiden's Day in Luton, and the girls in smocks, breeches and leggings made a brave show in the town in the appeal for recruits for the splendid Women's Land Army.
Tanks, the new weapons of war, became new weapons in funding Britain's war effort in the latter stages of the Great War. "Tank Banks" toured towns and cities to persuade residents to do their duty and buy War Savings Certificates or National War Bonds.
Successful Day at Wardown.
One of those occasions which do so much to foster the right spirit among a large body of men WAS arranged for the R.F.A, depot from Biscot on Saturday, when the regimental sports were held at Wardown.
Luton had witnessed some spectacularly destructive fires unrelated to the conflict during World War One.
At 11 o'clock on the morning of Monday, November 11 – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 – four years, three months and a week of bloody conflict came to an end in the war that it was hoped would end all wars.
By November 11th, 1914, the full horror and tragedy of world war had become only too evident.
November 11th, 1918 – Armistice Day. And, by coincidence, Luton was able to celebrate with the opening night of what was claimed to be the finest variety bill that the Palace Theatre had ever presented – featuring the legendary music hall star Marie Lloyd.
In recognition of service rendered by the members of the town's Special Constabulary, Luton Watch Committee summoned them to a dinner at the Winter Assembly Hall on February 12th, 1919.
On 22nd February 1919 Nurse Harriett Sprowson married Staff Sergeant Edwin Alexius Lyons.
Luton had enjoyed entertainers from the military, thanks to the Biscoteers from Biscot Camp, who had given their final concerts in December 1918.
It was reported in the Luton News on 27th February 1919 of one family's unusual experience.
In 1911 Lutonian Albert Barton & his Scottish wife Mary Ann were living at 13 Henry Street.
On Thursday, March 13th, 1919, Luton Borough War Prisoners Committee entertained around 200 men who had returned from enemy captivity at a dinner in the Winter Assembly Hall in Waller Street.
[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: March 22nd, 1919]