Luton Guild of Help

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Digest of stories from the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: November 24th, 1917.

The records of the Luton Guild of Help since its inauguration a few months ago are convincing us as to its magnificent work in helping those in need, not only by the furnishing of money but in sympathy, advice and other assistance. Striking evidence of the need for, and the success of, the work was given at a general meeting of the Guild that drew a large attendance on Thursday evening in the Town Hall.

Councillor W. J. Primett, presiding, said there were still many who did not understand what the Guild meant, what it was doing, or even if it was doing anything at all. He gave examples of cases taken up by the Guild, such as helping the parents of a child who had gained a scholarship outside the town to meet expenses they could not afford; offering temporary accommodation in the countryside for children of a weakly constitution; finding a hospital place for a mother suffering repeated illness; helping a woman imprisoned as a drug victim to lead a respectable life on release; and helping a woman and child who were nearly starving after the husband was sent to prison.

The beauty of the work, the meeting was told, lay in the co-operation on one common ground of people of all kinds of religious opinions and ideas.

A resolution of the Executive Committee was passed concerning children with special educational needs. It read: "Inasmuch as there are some 60 or 70 mentally deficient children in the town, special facilities for the education of such children should be provided in Luton without delay, and that this resolution be sent to the Luton Town Council."

The resolution was proposed by the Rev E. B. Mahon, said these children were weakly and undeveloped mentally. They were by no means imbeciles, but they were incapable of profiting by the normal education system. They were a drag on the others in their classes and a source of perplexity to the teachers. They also easily became led into wrongdoing.

  • This morning grave allegations of robberies from the stores at Biscot Camp were made at Luton Borough Court. The prisoners are Thomas Charles Mortimer, aged 41, canteen stores manager; Walter James Baxter, 16, canteen assistant, of 65 High Town Road; Bdr John James McGrath, 46, labourer; and Bdr Frederick Thomas Cocksedge, 34, cook. They were all charged with conspiring to steal beef, bacon etc, the property of Lieut Clyde Wilson in his capacity as President of the Regimental Institute at Biscot. Individual charges against the prisoners involving the theft of meat were also put. Bail was opposed and all four were remanded in custody. [At Beds Assizes in January 1918, McGrath was sentenced to four months imprisonment in the second division so that he would not lose his pension after 26 years of otherwise unblemished character in the Army. Baxter and Cocksedge were given three months with hard labour, and, on the direction of the judge, a verdict of not guilty was returned on Mortimer.]

  • Pte Frederick Charles Lowman, a young soldier with the Training Reserve Brigade, was charged at the Luton Borough Police Court this morning with stealing 3s 3d, the property of Nellie Briars, of 140 New Town Street, Luton, with whom he had been billeted for five weeks. The money was part of 5s 8d collected for a foreign mission and kept in a cash box in a drawer in the bedroom in which the defendant slept. The prisoner admitted stealing 2s 3d, but as he was of previous good character he was bound over to come up for judgment within six months if called upon.

  • A 25-year-old Scotsman named James Murray, living at 14 Adelaide Terrace, Luton, was sentenced to two months hard labour for stealing a bicycle which he had hired and later sold. The former soldier, who had been discharged as he was blind in the right eye and suffered paralysis in his right side, was said to have had a very bad record of crime stretching back over 10 years.

  • At the same court, Annie Rosson, of 15 Adelaide Terrace, denied using obscene language to a police officer called to deal with a quarrel with her neighbour. Magistrates heard that she had been to court 13 times, three times for use of obscene language. After claiming the policeman had lies, she was fined £1, or 14 days in prison.

  • To our advertisers: a warning. We wish to make it quite clear that the authorised representative of the Luton News and Saturday Telegraph always carries a receipt book, and that on no account should money be paid for orders for small advertisements without an official receipt which clearly sets out the amount paid, the number of insertions ordered and the paper or papers in which the advertisement will appear.

  • A concert of the first order was given at the Y.M.C.A. Hut last evening when Miss Mary Armstrong and her party from London gave an excellent programme. Mr H. D. Bulford presided, supported by a new padre, Capt Edwards.

  • The concert party of the Training Reserve Brigade, under Sgt Weedon and Cpl Marshall, are proving very popular. They visited the Church Army Hut in Dunstable Road on Thursday evening and gave an excellent concert.

  • In response to a report in a morning newspaper that there would be a famine in men's hats next year due to the Government commandeering shellac, glue, felt and other materials, Mr Thomas Keens, Secretary of the Luton Chamber of Commerce, said only the men's felt hat industry would be affected, but the ladies' felt hat trade might also be affected. "If the Government want felt, they are going to have it."

  • Luton Town FC were disappointed this afternoon by the absence of Haydn Price, the Wales International, who unfortunately sprained his ankle yesterday. Tempest and Butcher (now in khaki and posted to the Royal Engineers) were also both expected but failed to arrive. After a slow started against Bedford's war team of munition workers and soldiers. Luton were 2-0 up at half time and won 5-0 with a hat-trick from Lieut Fox and the other goals from Pugh and Sgt Scrannage (Biscot).