Henry Impey (1865-1930) was Mayor of Luton in the fateful year of 1919, when rioters burned down the Town Hall during riots that broke out amid Peace Day celebrations.
At the end of his term of office and following his resignation from the Town Council, a fellow councillor said: “The Mayor, as the responsible head of the town, had to accept all the blame for what occurred on Peace Day, but taking that blame had shattered his health. Whatever might have been Mr Impey's shortcomings, the penalty he had had to suffer was out of all proportion to whatever he might or might not have done.”
Although it is often suggested that Henry Impey never came back to Luton other than for two funerals, including his own, he in fact returned on the Thursday following the riots when he had a meeting with Town Clerk William Smith and gave an interview to two rival Luton newspapers. He also chaired a meeting of the Luton Board of Guardians on September 1st, 1919, and a meeting of the Town Council on September 2nd, 1919.
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