Henry Impey resigns from public life

New Mayor headline

On Monday, November 10th, 1919, Councillor Arthur Bennett Attwood, of High Croft, London Road, was formally installed as Mayor of Luton for the ensuing year at a Town Council meeting held in the Court House.

At the same meeting, letters were read from outgoing Mayor Councillor Henry Impey, who was not present, resigning the East Ward seat he had held since 1902 and intimating his intention to leave public and political life for health reasons.

The Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph of November 11th, 1919, reported that Councillor S. B. Hubbard moved a resolution: “That the thanks of this Council be accorded to, and the illuminated copy was sealed. Councillor Henry Impey for his services as Mayor of the Borough during the municipal year which has ended today, and that the Common Seal be affixed to a transcript of this resolution, engrossed on vellum, and presented to Councillor Impey.” The resolution was seconded by Councillor J. H. Hawkes, and agreed to

Henry ImpeyIn a letter dated November 7th that was read out by Town Clerk William Smith, Mr Impey [pictued] said: It is with sincere regret that I have to write to you instead of being able to express my thanks in person for the resolution passed by you, appreciating the services I have rendered to the town during my year of office. First of all let me thank the mover and the seconder for the kind manner in which they have placed it before the Council.

“The year has been remarkable in that it saw the finish of the great world war, and I had the extreme great pleasure of being able to announce the signing of Peace. We all regret that the celebration of such an event was marked by a most regrettable outbreak among a section of the people, but I trust that never again will the good name of Luton be marred by such wanton destruction and disloyalty.

“I have no wish to say more about that regrettable occurrence, as God only knows how long the disastrous effect on my health will too painfully recall the day to mind.

“I trust my successor and his good wife, to whom I offer my hearty congratulations, will have health through their term of office, and the loyal support of all their colleagues in carrying out the great programme of urgent matters now to be carried in the interests of the town.

“I also hope the new councillors will find a great pleasure in serving the town, as I have for many years. It is a big wrench to sever ourselves from the various spheres of service to which we have been accustomed in our beloved town, and nothing but health considerations would have induced us for moment to leave, even for a prolonged period, the lifelong association with Luton and the host of sterling friends with whom we have been so long associated.

“I wish to express my sincere thanks not only to the Council but to the Town Clerk and to all the officials and staff generally for their loyal support and help. My thanks are also due to the public generally who have been loyal and true and most sympathetic.”

In conclusion, Mr Impey expressed the hope that at no distant date he and his wife might be able to renew their lifelong association with the town and people of Luton.

The resolution was accompanied to Mr Impey with a tea service, a personal gift from members of the Council.

Henry Impey's formal council resignation letter was dated October 17th, 1919, and was also read out by the Town Clerk.

In that Mr Impey said: “With deep regret I follow up my former intimation to leave public and political life, and ask the Council to accept my resignation as Councillor for the East Ward as from November 9th. After so many years taking an active part in the affairs of my native town nothing but extreme necessity would have induced me to have taken this course until my term of office had expired in the ordinary way; but considerations of health compel me to have a term of rest.”

New Mayor, Councillor Arthur Bennett moved: “That this Council accept with regret Mr Henry Impey's resignation of his office of Councillor for the East Ward, and place on record their appreciation of the earnest and capable service he has rendered to the town as member of the Council for a period of 17 years, and their hope that with the release from public service his health may speedily be restored to its normal condition.”

Councillor Primett seconded, and the resolution was carried, and a vacancy in East Ward declared.


The Tuesday Telegraph also reported that a resignation letter from Henry Impey at his Northamptonshire residence was read at the previous day's meeting of the Luton Board of Guardians. He wrote that as it would be impossible for him to attend to his duties as Board Chairman for some months he felt it his duty to resign.

It was with sincere regret, after nearly 20 years, he was obliged to take this course, and nothing but sheer necessity would have compelled him to wrench himself from public services as he had done.

He felt grateful to the members of the Board who had worked with him, and he trusted the memory of his association with them would always be pleasant. He also thanked the Clerk and staff of the Board for their unceasing efforts and their unfailing courtesy and kindness.

The Vice Chairman (Mrs Attwood), who presided, said she was sure they all regretted that the Chairman had felt it compulsory on his to retire owing to ill-health, and it was the wish of everyone that he might make a speedy recovery.

Councillor Impey's resignation was accepted.