Leagrave farewell to Hilda Hewlett

On Tuesday evening (March 4th, 1919), a social evening was enjoyed by the employees at the Omnia Works, Leagrave, the occasion being a presentation to Mrs Hilda Hewlett (pictured) on her departure for New Zealand, and the formal opening of the new mess room, a fine building comprising dining hall, cloakroom, kitchen and domestic apartments.

Labour gain in low turn-out poll

The County Council election in Luton on Tuesday was a very unexciting affair, wrote The Luton News, of Thursday March 6th, 1919. The weather conditions may have had something to do with it, or it may have been wholly the indifference of the electors, of whom only about 15 per cent went to the polling booths.

As the Labour Party had found candidates to contest six of the nine Luton divisions a keener interest might certainly have been expected. But somehow County Council elections never do excite a very great amount of feeling locally.

'Dance-mad Luton' and all that fiendish jazz

Is Luton dancing mad? The headline was on a contributed item written by 'D' in the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (March 1st, 1919). It read:

Just a few lines to all you young folk of the lightly tripping order with the object of calling attention to a phenomenal phase in our local history.

When I say that my honest opinion is that a large section of Luton's youth is amusement-craving, especially in the form of a dancing craze almost to the verge of being 'dancing mad,' I realise at once that I enter into a controversial field.

'Hands off Wardown' 7: Too many still silent

The future of Wardown House was again making front page headlines in the Saturday Telegraph of February 22nd, 1919, following further Council debate the previous Tuesday. And the newspaper kept up its uncompromising attack, although it saw a possible change of attitude on he part of the prime mover, Council Primett, Chairman of the Maternity and Chid Welfare Committee. It wrote:

Military Medal for signalling officer

Second Lieut Charles Samuel IronsSecond Lieut Charles Samuel Irons, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, attached to the 9th East Surreys as Battalion Signalling Officer, was awarded the Military Medal, as recorded in a supplement of the London Gazette on April 2nd, 1919.

He was the only son of Samuel and Beatrice Irons, living with his mother's parents, Arthur and Sarah Furrell, at 60a Park Street, Luton.

OBE for brave munition worker

The medal of the Order of the British Empire has been awarded to Mr Ernest Hansell for bravery during an explosion of the Chaul End Munition Works. The intimation is contained in a letter from the Home Office which states that the Lord Lieutenant of the County will communicate with Mr Hansell with reference to the actual presentation of the medal.

Mr Hansell has been engaged in mixing and drying high explosives at Chaul End for something like three-and-a-half years, a most extraordinary man on a job highly dangerous and also injurious to health.

First offer of war trophy to Luton

An application was made some time ago by the Luton Corporation for a share in the mementoes of war, said the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph of January 11th, 1919. Mayor Henry Impey had since received the information that the gun awarded was a trophy won by the Bedfordshire Regiment and had been allotted by the regiment.

Firms look ahead with optimism

With the end of wartime production in which Luton had played a huge part, firms in the town were turning their attention to reverting to their peacetime roles. In munitions factories it would mean a loss of a huge number of jobs that were no longer required and the welcoming back of ex-servicemen former employees with special skills. But the overall feeling among employers was one of optimism for the future.

The Luton News devoted space to interviewing bosses about their war work and to get an impression of how they saw their firms' futures in a new era of peace.


Lad, 15, dies in Laporte accident

A sad fatality occurred yesterday at the Kingsway chemical works of Messr B. Laporte Ltd, reported the Tuesday Telegraph (February 11, 1919).

It appears that Horace Wilson, aged 15½, who lived with his parents at 20 Ash Road, was employed by the firm, and between 10 and 11am he was in a gang of six - in charge of the foreman, Harry Minney, of 49 North Street, Luton - engaged in moving a truck of coke a distance of only six feet.

425 POWs say special thanks to Henry

Few, if any, soldiers could have received more expressions of gratitude from his fellow prisoners of war than Pte Henry J. Turner, of the Bedfordshire Regiment. No fewer than 425 warrant officers, NCOs and men signed a letter to the Army Council at the War Office in London in recognition of his unselfishness and untiring devotion to duty on their behalf.


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