Deejaya's blog

Fashioned by war

It may seem strange to imagine that even a bloody conflict as long ago as 1914 should inspire fashion statements. While the menfolk suffered the horrors of the trenches, the trendy young ladies back home were being targeted to sport the new autumn range of military toques on their heads.

Advert for hats from Luton News 1914

Who spies spies?

Spies and the potential threat from spies had Luton on high alert in the early weeks of war. And there were three incidents in which shots were fired, two involving soldiers and one seemingly aimed at them. There were also two incidents, which had they not been treated so seriously, might in hindsight have seemed amusing.


Luton WW1 diary: July 30th, 1914

Stories from The Luton News - Thursday, July 30th, 1914

“War!” Not a screaming headline in the Luton News, more a whispered aside in the top left hand corner of page 8. Yes, it was reported that Austria had attacked Serbia ("Servia") and food prices in Vienna had rocketed. But British housewives were assured there would be no food shortages, though prices may be increased.March through Houghton

Diary of Luton's war

It was very much the calm before the storm in July 1914. Our diary blog starting next Wednesday will reveal Luton's transformation from a quiet, peaceful town into one on a war footing, each week bringing together extracts from contemporary stories in The Luton News.

Diary of Luton's war

Beginning on July 30th, this blog will feature a week-by-week diary about Luton people and events throughout World War 1, based on stories in The Luton News (LN) and, from November, the Saturday Telegraph (ST). The weekly Wednesday release will coincide with the Thursday publication dates of The Luton News 100 years earlier.

Luton News Masthead 30th July 1914

When one thing leads to another

The fascinating part of researching World War 1 stories for this site is you are never quite sure what may turn up next - or when or where.

For instance, I had never heard of Violet Golding, one of the people featured. As a 16-year-old she lost a finger and thumb of her left hand and suffered burns to her arm in an accident at the George Kent's munitions factory at Chaul End in 1917. She received a medal for her courage in returning to work there three months after the accident.

Veteran, 107, who didn't want to make a fuss

Apart from a studio photo of him and his two brothers in uniform, I have not managed to find out anything about my own grandfather's World War 1 service. And it's more than 50 years too late to ask him now.

Veteran Albert Edward Dye also came close to an unrecognised end, even though just before his death in September 2004 he was one of only a few UK survivors of 1914-18 combat – possibly by then the oldest at the age of 107.

Long lost loved one honoured

Only one thing could have been more distressing for the bereaved families of soldiers killed in WW1 than the loss of a loved one – the fact that the body was never found.

So many war memorials list the names of servicemen with no known grave. But in 2000 one Luton family learned that their grandfather/great-grandfather's remains had been found by an amateur archaeologist excavating in a previously unploughed field in Belgium in 1999 – 85 years after he fell.


Subscribe to RSS - Deejaya's blog