Treating the sick and wounded in Luton

Wounded soldiers would initially have been treated close to the front line, at aid stations, bearer posts and casulty clearing stations. 

Patients of Wardown Park Hospital outside front porch

More seriously wounded soldiers would spend time in larger base hospitals, and in some cases could be sent back to the UK to heal closer to home and family. Also, soldiers became ill or were wounded during the course of training, and would often be sent to local military or Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) hospitals. to rest and recover.

Luton had a number of medical establishments during WWI, the one we know most about is Wardown V.A.D. Hospital.

The information on this page, has been compiled from photo albums, information uploaded by contributors, and from newspaper archives. The book will evolve and grow as more content is added to this site.








The Voluntary Aid Detachment

The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was a voluntary organisation providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. The organisation's most important periods of operation were during World War I and World War II.

The organisation was founded in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross and Order of St. John. By the summer of 1914 there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Each individual volunteer was called a detachment, or simply a VAD. Of the 74,000 VADs in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls.

V.A.D. Nurses inspection at The Larches, Luton

At the outbreak of the First World War VADs eagerly offered their service to the war effort. The British Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilian women a role in overseas hospitals: most VADs were of the middle and upper classes and unaccustomed to hardship and traditional hospital discipline. Military authorities would not accept VADs at the front line.

Katharine Furse took two VADs to France in October 1914, restricting them to serve as canteen workers and cooks. Caught under fire in a sudden battle the VADs were pressed into emergency hospital service and acquitted themselves well. The growing shortage of trained nurses opened the door for VADs in overseas military hospitals. Furse was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the VAD and restrictions were removed. Female volunteers over the age of twenty-three and with more than three months' hospital experience were accepted for overseas service.

VADs were an uneasy addition to military hospitals' rank and order. They lacked the advanced skill and discipline of professional trained nurses and were often critical of the nursing profession. Relations improved as the war stretched on: VADs increased their skill and efficiency and trained nurses were more accepting of the VADs' contributions. During four years of war 38,000 VADs worked in hospitals and served as ambulance drivers and cooks. VADs served near the Western Front and in Mesopotamia and Gallipoli. VAD hospitals were also opened in most large towns in Britain.Later, VADs were also sent to the Eastern Front. They provided an invaluable source of bedside aid in the war effort. Many were decorated for distinguished service.

Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

Wardown Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) Hospital occupied the building that is now Wardown Park Museum.

It first opened as an army run Hospital in October 1914, and was used by the North Midland Division for the reception of their sick, under the care of a trained Sister and a staff of local V.A.D. nurses. Military Medical Officers administering the more in depth medical procedures. Mrs Nora K. Durler was Joint Commandant with Mrs Mary. A. Green.

Soldiers relaxing outside Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

The picture above was taken in 1918 and shows wounded soldiers and staff sat outside the south front of Wardown House. The Officer seated in the centre of the photo' is unknown, but sitting to his left (our right) are Mary Green and Nora Durler. To his right (our left) are Sister Hobbs, Elsie Green and Winifred Green.

Copyright Luton News/Culture Trust C40541.

After a fortnight spent in cleaning, repairing, and whitewashing, the first patient was admitted on December 1st 1914.

When the North Midland Brigade departed for France in late October 1914, the building remained in military occupation until it was handed over fully to  No'.12 and No' 14 Bedfordshire Voluntary Aid Detachments of the British Red Cross Society (hence civilians) on November 8th 1915. It was used, as a hospital for the reception both of wounded from the active fronts, and of sick troops billeted locally. 

The hospital staff commemorated their wartime work at a 'closure party' in May 1919, and red cross staffing records indicate the nurses had their duties terminated on the 25th March 1919. An exact date of closure and handover to the council has not been established as of the time of writing. 

The History of the House and Park


Wardown Park was once rough meadow and scrub. The 1844 Tithe Map shows sixteen plots of land. A public footpath originally crossed diagonally, connecting High Town with Biscot and Limbury. The River Lea flowed through in two streams.

There were four large plots of land including Bramingham Shott, Rye Mead and Pond Piece.  The area around the present cricket ground was called Stocking Bridge Field. Bramingham Shott surrounded Bramingham Villa. Rye Mead was at the foot of Rye Hill and included the land leading up to what is now Cromwell Hill. Much of the ground around the River Lea was very boggy.

Richard How owned Bramingham Shott and the farmhouse, called Bramingham Villa.  Bramingham Villa had a kitchen, cellar, entrance hall, drawing, dining and breakfast rooms.  Upstairs there were six bedrooms and a water closet.  It had ‘every requisite for a respectable family’ and offered ‘an opportunity for occupation or investment that rarely occurs in the neighbourhood’.  Wardown Park Museum now stands upon the site of the original farmhouse.

The Scargills

On 2nd July 1868 the building was purchased by Frank Chapman Scargill, a Luton solicitor with a practice in King Street. Scargill demolished the farmhouse and built the present house in two stages. He called this house Bramingham Shott and it was completed by 1877. It was built at an estimated cost of £10,000 and the distinctive locally produced bricks known as ‘luton Greys’ were used in its construction. Scargill also built the outbuildings and lodge, and laid out a cricket ground and a park around his home.’

Today you can still see some of the original outbuildings, the lodges, the gardens and cricket ground. The House is now a grade 2 listed building. It was completed in 1877 as the carving over the archway to the stables records.

An inventory drawn up in 1897 reveals that Wardown contained sixteen bedrooms (including those for servants), a Billiard Room, Smoking Room, Drawing Room, Dining Room, two kitchens, a dairy, laundry, cellars which included one for beer, an Apple Room, Boot Room, Game Larder, School Room, Conservatory, Boudoir, four dressing rooms, four WCs, three bathrooms, plus a number of rooms for the servants and various other closets and cupboards.

F.C. Scargill left Luton in 1894 and let the property to B.J. H. Forder, the owner of a brick-making firm which had recently begun work in Bedfordshire. It was Forder who changed the name of Bramingham Shott to Wardown, which was the name of his previous home at Buriton in Hampshire. After Forder the house was let to one of his business partners, Halley Stewart, later to be the first chairman of the London Brick Company.

The Council

The House was put up for sale with the rest of the estate in June 1903 and was bought on behalf of the Council by two local businessmen, Asher Hucklesby and Edwin Oakley. Hucklesby and Oakley, who lived respectively at the Leaside and the Mount in New Bedford Road, were also influential Councillors and sold the estate to the Council (for the same price as they had bought it) in 1904.

On 8th July 1905 Wardown Park was opened to the public. Asher Hucklesby, as Mayor of Luton formally opened the park and in his speech looked forward to a time when the house would be able to hold a museum which would be ‘interesting as well as of an educational character’.

Whilst the park immediately became popular, the house posed more of a problem for the Council who could not find a permaent use for it. With neglect decay set in and extensive dry rot was reported in 1909. During World war One it was used as a military hospital and afterwards its rooms were rented out to Council employees. The ground floor also housed a tea room.

Architect's plan

Bramingham Shott architect's drawing 1875

In 1875, The British Architect magazine reproduced architect T. C. Sorby's drawing [above] of Bramingham Shott. A related article in the same edition said:

“The mansion is situate a short distance from Luton and is being erected by F. C. Scargill Esq on the site of an old house, the kitchens and offices being recent erections are retained.

“The walls will be faced with the strawberry-coloured brick peculiar to Luton ['Luton Greys'] with dressings to windows of red Mansfield stone. The carriage portico, cornices and chimney caps ae ion moulded red brick from Mr Gunton's works, Cossey, near Norwich. The roofs will be covered with brindled tiles from Coalbrookdale, with ridges and knobs from Mr Cooper's works at Maidenhead.

“The whole of the ground floor will be laid with concrete, and the first floor partially with Homan's iron joists and concrete and partially with Dennett's arching on wrought pitch pine open framed joisting. All the floors will be finished with wood blocks – deal, pitch pine, oak and walnut – in patterns differing in the various rooms.

“The internal joinery of doors, dados and ceilings will be pitch pine framing, with Vancouver panels, and oak and pitch pine in the staircase.

“On the first floor there are ten bedrooms, four dressing rooms, three bathrooms, three water closets, linen and housemaids' closets etc, and rooms for servants and lumber in the attic. Every room in the house is provided with special means of ventilation, irrespective of doors and windows.”

Wardown House becomes V.A.D. hospital

Event Start and End Date: 

8th November 1915


The transfer of the hospital within Wardown Mansion from the divisional military authorities to the local Voluntary Aid Detachments of the British Red Cross took place on Monday, November 8th, 1915.

It was now to be used for the reception of wounded troops who could not be accommodated in military hospitals elsewhere. Initially they were to be drafted there from Aylesbury. The hospital had to provide 50 beds for wounded soldiers, with an additional 12 beds to be reserved for soldiers stationed in and around the town.

Apart from voluntary contributions from outside, the Red Cross would received three shillings per day from the military authorities for each soldier treated to cover all medical attendance, nurses, food etc. Infectious cases occurring at Wardown would be transferred to Spittlesea.

The two V.A.D. detachments - 12 and 14 - had received a notification that their services would be called upon for day and night duties by the nursing staff. The voluntary staff would be supplemented by a matron-in-charge and two highly trained nurses from London. Sister Cooper was in charge.

Medical and surgical arrangements were to be in the hands of Dr Seymour Lloyd (the medical officer to the detachment), Dr J. W. Bone, Dr C. Harmar, Dr W. Levinson and Dr H. Verdon.

On the ground floor, the dining room, library, billiard and drawing rooms at Wardown had been converted into spacious hospital wards, while upstairs rooms had been set aside as an officers' ward, nurses quarters and the quartermaster's stores. There were few patients at the time of the transfer, but preparations were going ahead for the reception of about 70 wounded men.

Wardown House had been used as a military hospital since October 1914. By the following September, V.A.D. Commandant Mrs Mary Anne Green (wife of Luton brewer Mr John William Green, of The Larches, New Bedford Road, Luton) had received a letter from Col Astley Clarke, Assistant Director Medical Service, 2/1st North Midland Division, suggesting that, with the moving of the Division from Luton, Wardown House should be maintained as a V.A.D. hospital provided rent-free by the Town Council but with the Red Cross paying for fuel, lighting and other services. The Council agreed.

Between November 1915 and its eventual closure as a V.A.D. hospital on May 20th, 1919, more than 3,500 patients passed through Wardown House.

Mrs Green continued as Commandant for the whole period. She had inaugurated the Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D. 12) in Luton in 1911 and was assisted by her niece, Mrs Nora Kathleen Durler (wife of straw plait merchant Robert), Commandant of V.A.D. 14.

At the time of the transfer, the list of ladies involved was published. Quartermasters were Ethel Mary Hartop and Miss Elsie Margaret Green, daughter of the brewer.

Sisters:- Miss Edna Cochrane, Miss Florence HobbsMiss Kathleen ShannonMiss Pollie Wood

Nurses:-  Miss Muriel AustinMiss Mable Barnes, Miss Sarah Bartlett, Miss Margaret Beechener, Mrs Frances BrownMiss Mildred Brown, Mrs Gilbert Brown, Miss Ivy Brown, Mrs Murry Barford, Mrs Alice Cann, Mrs Estelle Chalkley, Miss Gertrude Chandler, Miss Florence CookMiss Eila Cumberland, Miss Gladys Cumberland, Miss Olive Cumberland, Mrs Estelle Chalkley, Mrs Aileen Davis, Miss Beatrice Deacon, Mrs Emma Ebbs, Miss Edith Eustace, Miss Louisa Escott, Miss Florrie Fyson, Miss Winifred Green, Miss Margaret Greatorex, Miss May Gilder, Miss Dorothy Gates, Mrs Margaret Gibbs, Miss Maggie Godfrey,  Miss Alice Howard, Miss Stella How, Miss Phyllis Inwards, Mrs Mabel Jackson, Miss Gladys Lye, Mrs Constance Lloyd, Miss Hilda MayesMiss Gladys Mitchell, Miss Emmie Payne, Miss Louise Payne, Miss Marjory Plummer, Miss E. Rohner, Miss Gertrude Sheriff, Miss Hilarie ShoosmithMiss Madge ShoosmithMiss Elsie SmithMiss Hilda SworderMiss Dorris TomsonMiss Margaret Tomson, Miss Elsie Trevelyan, Miss Gladys Williams and Miss F. Waller. Miss Agnes WorsleyMiss Mary Wynne

Dispenser (Pharmacist):- Mr George Shuff

Cooks: Miss Anna Batchelder, Mrs Norach Phyllis Brown, Mrs Mary Campion, MIss Elizabeth CrabbMiss Janet CoupeesMrs Milner Gray, Mrs Edgar Knowles, Miss D. Knowles, Mrs Mabel RoseMrs Ethel SchofieldMrs Constance Sanderson, Miss Annie SmithMiss Edith SmithMiss Winifred TearleMiss Amy Tydeman, Miss Ruth Trevelyan, Miss Beatrice WebbMiss Eleanor WellerMiss Constance Wilkinson, and Miss Dorothy Williams.

Housemaids:- Miss Beatrice Gertrude AllenMrs Gweneth Baker, Miss Florence Barford, Miss Nora Christine Booth, Miss Edna Brown, Miss Gwendolyne Butcher, Miss Edith Cain, Miss Dorothy Coles, Miss Olive Coles, Mrs Maude Cooke, Miss Ida OrdishMiss Winifred RuddMrs Marion Woodcock

Orderlies:- Mr Albert Beckwith, Mr Alfred Bowles, Mr William Burgess, Mr Herbert Chalice, Mr Alfred Clarke, Mr Arthur Cook, Mr Joseph ShakletonMr Archie SmithMr Arthur ThorneMr Henry ThorneMr A TownrowMr William Weatherhead,

Three of the nursing staff were in France "on active service". Miss Hilda Sworder had been working abroad since March 18th, Miss Margaret Greatorex was with the headquarters staff, and Miss F. Waller had recently left England to take up duties on the staff of one of the Red Cross stations "somewhere in France".

When it first opened as a hospital, the North Midland Division were in occupation of Wardown Mansion. The 2/2nd North Midland Field Ambulance were the last unit to leave.

Wardown's position and lofty rooms were considered ideal for a hospital but there were problems with ventilation, sanitation and water supply. Extensive improvements were carried out by the military authorities during the occupancy, and by the time of its transfer to the Red Cross the building was considered to be of a very high standard for cleanliness, ventilation, sanitation and other details.

[Bedfordshire Advertiser: Friday, November 12th, 1915; Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: November 13th, 1915; Luton Reporter: Monday, December 6th, 1915]


Wardown VAD Hospital ward
VAD nurses and patients
VAD commandant Mrs Green
VAD commandant Mrs Durler
VAD ward at Wardown
VAD nurses in France
Wardown House c1913 (Cox)

Event Place: 


Connects to: 

Wardown prepares to receive wounded troops


The Local Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Society required a larder at Wardown House, plus repairs to broken windows and other minor renovations executed, a Parks Committee report to Luton Town Council revealed. A repeated application for use of rooms at Wardown occupied by the caretaker was also made.

The Council endorsed the committee's action in asking the Borough Engineer to carry out the repairs, and also authorised the committee chairman and Borough Engineer to provide a larder at a cost not exceeding £10. But it was decided that it was not practical to allow used of the caretaker's rooms.

Alderman Williams read a letter from the Secretary of the Hospital Committee expressing thanks for the agreeing to provide the larder, but regretted that the Council could not let the committee have use of the whole of the house.

The letter said that the military authorities had pressed the hospital committee for full accommodation, as if it was to be worked efficiently the whole of the hospital would be needed for the nurses to sleep on the premises. It might mean inconvenience to the caretaker, but that should not stand in the way of the efficient working of the hospital, which was for the benefit of the nation.

A letter from the Secretary of the VAD Committee also asked for some re-arrangement of the heating apparatus at Wardown Hospital, together with the provision of hot water pipes. The estimated cost was £10 to get upper areas supplied from the kitchen range and lower areas from a furnace in the basement. The Council agreed to meet half the cost.

In the correspondence column, VAD Commandants Mrs Mary A. Green and Mrs Nora K. Durler appealed for donations in cash and kind from the public.

Reminding readers that Wardown was now a Red Cross hospital entirely in the charge of the local VAD Detachments, they wrote: "We have at present 21 patients in the wards, but are expecting shortly a consignment of wounded soldiers up to a total of 50 or more. The available funds being small, we are largely dependent on voluntary help from the neighbourhood and we should like to take this opportunity of earnestly appealing for assistance. We shall be glad of any contributions in money, flowers, fruit, vegetables, groceries or household linen and cloths, brooms, brushes, fenders and coal scuttles etc, in fact anything that is useful in the average home.

"Besides these we are very badly and urgently needing the following medical appliances - a wheeled trolley with stretcher for transporting sick and wounded from the entrance doors to their beds; one or more wheeled (self-propelling) chairs; an irrigator with stand; a set of three enamel wash bowls on stand for operating room; and one dressing waggon for wards."

[The Luton News: Thursday, January 6th, 1916]


Description of Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

The Hospital provided accommodation for 65 patients. On the ground floor were situated three large, well-lighted wards, and a 20 bed wooden annexe, built by the Military when they moved in. The annex was on the east side of the house, accesible via what is now the fire exit in the indoor cafe.

Private Saunders

On the ground floor was an excellent Operating Theatre replete with up-to-date fittings, including folding operating table, high pressure steam sterilizer for dressings, and wash-basins with elbow swing taps (We believe this operating theatre is now the kitchen in the museum.); a Pack Store for the bestowal of the patients’ belongings and kits; kitchens, pantries, and other offices, and a large Recreation Room (probably the Billiards room in the museum). 

On the first floor were three smaller wards, commanding pleasant outlooks over the park; an isolation ward for two beds; bathrooms for staff and patients; rooms for the matron and nurses; and offices for the Commandants and Secretary. A few rooms were available on the top floor, but were not used on account of their inaccessibility.

Wounded soldiers were sent to Wardown from the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, to which it was affiliated, and sick were admitted from the nearby Biscot Camp Artillery Training School and other units in the town.

Cases requiring major operations were sent to either the Bute Hospital in Luton centre, near the present day post office, or the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, according to their nature and urgency. X Ray examinations were made at the Bute Hospital.

The Recreation Room on the ground floor was furnished with comfortable chairs, writing and card tables, indoor games, a small library, and an excellent bagatelle table. A second bagatelle table was placed on the first floor landing. In the Entrance Hall and in each ward hung a table of rules and regulations, to which patients were expected to conform during their stay in hospital.

Staff at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

At the start of this project, we knew the names of only a few staff who worked at Wardown V.A.D. hospital, from the proceedings of minutes and names found in photograph albums. But records of staff who served in the V.A.D. were digitised and released by the British Red Cross in 2015, and this has made it easy to reveal and remember the names of those who served at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital during WW1.

The Staff includedNurse bedside patient in Wardown Hospital

  • 2 Trained nurses,— one taking day, and one night duty.—the remaining help being voluntary.
  • 12 V.A.D. nurses on duty daily.
  • 5 cooks
  • 3 General Service members, all of whom give their services voluntarily.
  • The V.A.D. cooks and general service members were considered to be indefatigable; and their services were certainly appreciated to the full by the patients.
  • 2 Quartermasters who looked after the 'Pack Store' .
    • They collected the kit and effects of every patient on admission, and ticketed and stored them until the patients were discharged.
  • 'Rags' the dog.

Known staff

Full names and details of nurses and other staff who served at Wardown, can be found by searching the excellent British red Cross site, that is dedicated to recognising the service of the V.A.D. volunteers in WW1. 

Nurses Shoosmith and Margery Mary Tomson

House Committee.

Finance Committee

  • Mr. R. E. Tomson (Hon. Treasurer)
  • Mr. B. T. Crew (Hon. Auditor)
  • Mr. K. Brown

Dr. Fordyce and Rogers

Ambulance Committee

  • Mr. V. Allen (Chairman)
  • Mr. H. E. Deacon
  • Mr. Arthur Strange (Hon. Sec.)

First steps to becoming a V.A.D. nurse


Fund raising and making clothes for the troops at the front were often seen as primary contributions of women to World War One. But for those who wanted a more hands-on role there was nursing.VAD nurses at The Larches, Luton

The starting points were basic first aid courses run by the British Red Cross Society that could lead to courses in home nursing and from there an opportunity to qualify as nurses with the local Women's Voluntary Aid Detachment working at military hospitals such as Wardown. Some would also do voluntary work at Bute Hospital to gain further experience.

More than 50 Luton women initially took up the challenge soon after the outbreak of war. The Luton News marked their continued successes by printing the names of those who gained certificates and badges, and many would appear as part of a group in photographs taken with wounded soldiers at Wardown during the course of the war.

The initial presentations at the end of first aid courses took place in December 1914 and that was followed by the next series of successes at the end of February 1915. Below is the Luton News report of the latter event in the March 4th, 1915, edition.

A gathering of local ladies to receive certificates recently gained for home nursing in the Red Cross examination, took place last Friday evening in the Christ Church Institute, Inkerman Street, Luton. There was a large attendance.

On the outbreak of war some 50 or 60 ladies responded to the invitation of the Red Cross Society to attend a course of lectures in first aid. The whole of these ladies entering for the examination were successful, and it became necessary to take a second examination - in home nursing - before the students qualified to act as nurses in the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.

This was held on January 25th under the auspices of the British Red Cross Society, when a good number of first certificates were gained, and the opportunity was also taken by a number of ladies already acting in the Voluntary Aid Detachment to secure the second certificates or proficiency badges. The award were:

First certificate - Miss Ivy Brown, Miss Lilian Burgess, Mrs Alexandra Barnard, Miss Dorothy Coles, Miss Agnes Cookson, Miss Mabel Cole, Mrs Nita Davies, Miss Beatrice Deacon, Miss Olive Deacon, Miss Rene Deacon, Mrs Emma Ebbs, Miss Edith Eustace, Miss Winifred Dales, Miss Louise Escott, Miss Edith Fyson, Miss Dorothy Oates, Miss May Gilder, Miss Maggie Godfrey, Miss Stella How, Miss Alice Howard, Miss Gladys Mitchell, Miss Marjorie Plummer, Miss Elsie Rohner, Miss Gertrude Sheriff, Miss Charlotte Shorthouse, Miss Madge Shoosmith and Miss Agnes Worsley.

Second certificates - Miss Mildred Brown, Mrs Annie Barford, Miss Anna Batchelor, Miss Eila Cumberland, Miss Elizabeth Crabb, Miss Phyllis Inwards, Mrs Maud Lloyd, Miss Emmie Paine, Mrs Constance Sanderson and Miss Doris Tomson.

Proficiency badges - Miss Margaret Tomson and Miss Dorothy Williams.

The certificates were presented by Mrs J. W. Green, and members were then asked by the two commandants (Mrs Green and Mrs Robert Durler) if they would take their turn in the help at Wardown Military Hospital. Many expressed their willingness to do so.

Lieut Wood, R.A.M.C., who was formerly medical officer at Wardown, gave a short address on the duties of nurses there.

[The Luton News, March 4th, 1915]


Patients at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

Patients in 1915

  • Sapper White
    Daglish wounded in hospital bed
  • Daglish
  • Edmonds
  • Fowler
  • Fillman
  • Cutter
  • Willy
  • Trossel
  • Berry
  • George W.F. Berry
  • Grant
  • Cauldwell
  • King
  • Sheehan
  • Wood
  • Sergeant Newman
  • Spriggs
  • Pte. Hawkins Wilts Regt
  • H.W. Saunders 22nd Manchesters
  • L.A. Smith
    Nurse Austin and patients
  • London
  • Paton
  • Warner
  • Wright
  • Mahone
  • Mole
  • Cyril C. Mortimer
  • Tucker
  • Lovell
  • Friday
  • Bannerman

Patients in 1916

  • Pearce
  • Miller
  • Perry
  • HammondG. W. Manchester, a wounded man
  • Read
  • O'Connor
  • Thompson
  • Barrick
  • Stacey
  • Gentry
  • T.L. Eve
  • George
  • Canrouse
  • Tucker
  • Matts
  • Warwick
  • Gazey
  • Anderson
  • Stanton
  • Maynard
  • Proudfoot
  • Knight

Patients in 1917

  • Sergeant William Whittaker
  • Private George Steele


Entertaining the Troops

Whilst soldiers were recuperating in the hospital, they would recieve a regular program of entertainments and activites to lift spirits and morale. Local newspaper archives reveal that these activities were organised by a combination of the local community, and the nearby Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.) base at Biscot.

Croquet on the lawns at WardownIn 1917 no effort was spared to make the patients as happy and comfortable as possible during their stay. Residents and the management and employees of local firms, vied with each other in offering hospitality, in the form of entertainments and teas, while whist drives and other competitions and concerts were repeatedly held in the hospital. In these functions many talented artists and amateurs took part to the great enjoyment of their audiences, The management of the Palace and Grand Theatres not only placed seats at the disposal of the patients week by week, but entertained them lavishly with refreshments and ciugarettes after the performances.


In Christmas 1916, the wards were tastefully decorated by the nurses and patients, and the Christmas dinner — at which 15 patients sat down to a splendid spread, was voted a huge success. When dessert arrived, that great military tradition of 'speeches,' began, in which the speakers excelled themselves, and gave rise to great merriment. The rest of the day was spent in various amusements and entertainments.

The same approach to wounded service personnel happens today with comedians, musicians and other entertainers regularily visiting hospitals and the injure to raise awareness, money and support for those who suffer in service.

This section contains a number of contemporary accounts of such entertainments, with the annual Regimental Sports Day being a big event that drew spectators from across the town and raised much needed money for the support of the hospital. Sports days are still held across all three services (Navy, Army, Air Force) today, with Wednesday afternoons traditionally given up for sports training. Sports is seen as a useful indicator of fitness, a way of building teamwork and discipline, and a way to let off steam in a high pressure job.

1916 Regimental Sports Day, Wardown Park

Event Start and End Date: 

24th July 1916

A regimental sports day of Number 6 Artillery Training School took place on Wardown cricket ground today. 24th July 1916.

In attendence were men and workers from the base, nurses and staff from Wardown military hospital, and others from the town.

Regimental Sports Day

One of the largest. and most interesting athletic gatherings held in Luton in recent years took place on the fine Wardown cricket ground on Saturday. It was the occasion of  the regimental sports of the No. 6 Artillery Training School at Biscot. held by permission of the Commandant (Col. C. H. Alexander, R.F.A ). All elements seemed to conspire together for the success of the sports, which were in aid of the deserving Wardown and Bute Hospitals, both of which have done great service for the Artillery Schcool. The morning was anything but promising, but about noon the clouds rolled away, and in the afternoon the sun shone upon a picturesque a scene as one would wish to see. The multitudinous arrangements had been well carried out. The site could not have been better chosen, being large and open, and allowing a full view of the camp itself, a very fitting background. There was a reserved enclosure, and here were gathered many well known people. It was pleasing to see' also the Matron and staff of the Bute Hospital and the V.A.D. nurses and Commandants of Wardown and Wheathampstead Military Hospitals. The staffs in the aggregate made an imposing display in their nice white uniforms. There was also a very large number of wounded soldiers. The attendance must have been very great, for the crowd required all the accommodation the field afforded. The Y.M.C.A. had a large tent in the corner, the busy helpers dispensing refreshments at moderate charge.

The Chief Events

As to the programme, it was lengthy and well varied, and the prizes. which were worth the winning, were presented in the evening by Mrs. C. H. Alexander. to whom Major V. F. Fitch earlier in the day had presented a beautiful bouquet on behalf of the sports committee. Very interesting races were those for the nurses, and the amusement caused was great. First, there was a heat for the Bute Hospital and then for the V.A.D. The winners of those ran in the final Here Nurse Williams carne in level with Nurse Inwards, and. running again, Nurse Williams scored. There were also open races, and athletes from other Army units in the district trict and men from the munition works entered. In the R.F.A. at Biscot are some letic circles before joining the Army. Great interest was manifested in the cross country 50 entries on the programme. A big percentage started off from the ground to the " Three Horseshoes." Leagrave, and then to Stopsley, returning by the same route. The distance was 8000 yards. When the men returned they had to do one more lap of the field. One or two of the runners finished quite fresh and were loudly applauded. The winner was Driver Hill, who did the distance in 49 minutes 42.5 sec. The half-mile No. 6 A.T.S. Championship was won by Gnr. Morley with a two yards' lead. In the one mile race 11 started. and Driver Walker, an Eastbourne the mile in just over five minutes. Bert Hay and T. Cook, both of Luton, showed up well in the open flat running, as did Sgt. J. Wells, of the R.E. at Houghton Regis. Wells is a brother of the great boxer. Bombardier Wells. Much merriment was caused by the mop-fighting, and also by the obstacle race. There were all kinds of events, including races for patients, the band, and the Boy Scouts. ' A very effective item during the afternoon was a physical drill display under C.S.M. Watkinson (of the Army Gymnastic Staff).

Prize Distribution

At the conclusion of the sports Mrs. C. H. Alexander gracefully presented the prizes, and Major E. G. L. Atlberry proposed a vote of thanks to Col. and Mrs Alexander. In doing so, he said their thanks were also due to the instructors. Six months ago the majority of the men had no idea what military life was like. The votes of thanks were carried with hearty cheers. During the afternoon the Luton Red Cross Band played many lively selections, and they played for the dancing in the evening, in which large crowds participated.

The Results

The results of the races are as follows:—

  • Throwing the cricket ball.—1, Gnr. Meadows; 2, Gnr. Johnson; 3, Gnr. Page, Distance, 97yd. 1ft.
  • Long jump.—1. Gnr. Boome: 2. Gnr. Davis ; 3. Gnr. Craik. Winner jumped 15ft. 10in.
  • Half-mile No 6. A.T.S. Championship.-1 Gnr. Morley; 2, Driver Walker; 3, Gnr. Dimmock. Time, 2min. 10sec. Won by two yards.
  • 100 yards.—Heat 1: 1, Gnr. Hubbard. Heat 2: 1, Gnr. Godley. Heat 3: 1, Gnr. Bell. Final:
  • Boot race.—1. Spr Griffiths; 2.Gnr. Haynes; 3, Shoeing Smith Wingrove.
  • 440 yards.—Heats were run on Friday. Heat: 1, Gnr. Griffiths; 2, Gnr. Dimmock, 2. Cpl. Griffiths; 8. Gnr. Williams. Time, 5s 8.5 sec.
  • Final 440 yards: 1, Gnr. Griffiths; 2, Gnr. Dimmock; 3, Gnr. Saunders.
  • Veterans' race. Handicap (open to soldiers who enlisted before 1899; 1, B.S.M. Bendelow; 2. B.S.M. Cocker: 3, Sgt. Guess.
  • Putting the shot. 1, Gnr, Oswald: 2. Gnr. Beliard; 3, Gnr. Craik.
  • One mile., 1, Driver Walker; 2. Gnr. Godley, 3. Gnr. Saunders.
  • Mop fighting tournament (pairs): — 1, Sgt. Smith and Driver Gonella: 2. Drivers Sanders and Simpson: 3. Gnrs, Worboys and Ingram.
  • V.C. race.—1. lorsey; 2, Ware; 3, Tompkins.
  • High Jump.—1, L Cpl. Ellis; 2, Gnr. McGeorge ana Gnr. Boome. Height, 3ft. 2 1/2 in.
  • Signalling pairs.—A Battery won. Gnrs. Wright. Juniper. Townson. and Horn.
  • 120 yards (Sergeants).- 1 Sgt. Goodyer; 2. Sgt. Wilford; 3. Sgt. Potter.
  • Cross country running.-1, Driver Hill: 2, Driver Ansteed; 3, Driver Pitman; 4, Cpl. Gowan; 5, Cpl. Jessett; 6, Driver Walker, 7,. Gnr. Chalmers. Eleven started
  • Half-mile (open to outsiders).-1, Bert Ray (Luton United Harriers): 2. J. Welsh (Houghton Regis) ; 3. T. Cook (Luton), Time. 2 mins 35 seconds.
  • Officers’ race (120 yards) - Capt. Colsell; Lieut. Malcolmson. 3, Lieut. Lamb.
  • Relay Race 880 yards.-1, Gnr Hubbard, Gnr Godley, Driver Watson; 2, Gnr Griffiths, Cpl. Aitken, and Gnr Townrow Time 2 mins 10 seconds.
  • Patients race (100 yards) -1, Bailey; 2, Phillips; 3, Dawson (2/4 Lincolns)
  • Nurses’ race (60 yards —1 Nurse Williams (Bute Hospital); 2, Nurse Inwards (V.A.D.); .Nurse Thompson.
  • One Mile (open) -1 Ray; 2 Cook; 3 Howard;
  • Physical drill competition.—Winners. B Battery. Instructor, Sgt. R. Potter.
  • Inter Battery tug-of-war.—Heat 1: 1, B Battery
  • Obstacle race.—1, S.S. Wingrove; 2, Gnr. Holiday; 3, Gnr. Godley
  • Boy Scouts' race-1 Caugher; 2, Pratt; 3, L.R. Weatherhead; (all 1st Luton).




  • Referee: Col. F. Griffith, V.D.
  • M.C.: Major E. G. L. Allberry;
  • Judges
    • Major R. F. L. Turner
    • Major V. F. Fitch
    • Captain F. J. Clarke
    • Captain C. R. Baker
    • Captain J. .P. E. Henery, L.A.C.
    • Second Lieutenant J. A. Markwick
    • Second Lieutenant A. J. Lamb
    • Second Lieutenants H. Exley
  • Starter: Capt. R.F.J. Colsell
  • Timekeepers
    • Lieutenant R. H Johnston
    • Lieutenant J. Northover
    • Lieutenant J. A. Stedman
    • Mr. ,J. Eaton Smith. L.A.C.
  • Stewards
    • R.S.M. French
    • B.Q.M.S. Carthow
    • C.S.M.Inst. Watkinson
    • B.S.M. Taylor
    • B.S.M. Rann
    • B.S.M. Bendelow
    • B.S.M. Simpkins
    • Sgt. Goldman
    • Gnr. A. E. White.

Great credit is due to the Sports Committee, and especially Capt. Colsell (hon. secretary), who put in a lot of hard work. At the time of going to press it is stated that £130 is to be divided between the above-named Hospitals.


Event Place: 

Keywords for this event?: 

Luton ward: 

Connects to: 


Source Date: 

Thursday, July 26, 1917

1917 Regimental Sports Day, Wardown Park

Event Start and End Date: 

21st July 1917


Regimental Sports.

Truly it was a gala day for Biscot on Saturday, a red letter day in the career of the R.F.A. men, for it was the occasion of their regimental sports. The Wardown cricket ground presented an animated and picturesque scene with its crowds of spectators. The brilliant sunshine aiding the effect of the varied colours of the summer dresses worn by the ladies and the khaki uniform, of the men.

The arrangements were earned out on a scale typical of the excellent Biscot organisation, and no effort had been lacking on the part of the Sports Committee to make the event a success. Two field telephones for the communication of results from the finishing point to the records tent were in operation. A reserved enclosure was erected for the accommodation of officers and their friends, and special facilities were given to the wounded soldiers and the nurses from Wardown V.A.D. Hospital. To cope with the large number of spectators, the military police exercised their authority on over eager juveniles, and the Boy Scouts flitted to and fro to render assistance in needful quarters.

Mrs. C. H. Alexander (wife of the Commandant) was the recipient of a dainty bouquet of roses, tied with Artillery colours, red and blue, and in a charming little speech she thanked the Sports Committee for their thought of her, and expressed in glowing terms her appreciation of the splendid way in which the arrangements for the gathering had been

The equestrian skill of the Biscot boys had been witnessed the previous Saturday at Biscot, and so last Saturday’s display at Wardown was confined to ordinary athletics.

The programme was lengthy and well-varied. The race in which the nurses participated was enthusiastically applauded. There were also open events, in which men from various works in the town competed, and athletes from other Army units entered, too.  At Biscot are several men who were prominent in harrier and athletic circles before joining the Army, The physical drill display, under the instruction of Sgt. A. G. Walls, was especially noteworthy eliciting much admiration. There was one equestrian event, C Battery, under the capable training of Lieut. A. H.  Stannard, contributing some admirable vaulting.

The mop tournament and obstacle race evoked considerable amusement. In the latter the competitors had to go through a brushwood hedge with string entanglements, swinging barrels, crawl under scaffold poles pegged down, get through Army wagons filled with brushwood, climb a Jacob's ladder about 60ft, high, get over greasy poles over water, go up and down a greasy slide, then under a tarpaulin, under which were coloured chalks and soot, so that when the unfortunate competitors emerged from those depths they presented a very comic appearance.

The marathon race evoked keen interest, and 19 competed. The entrants started from Biscot in motor cars lent by Mrs. J. W. Green, (Commandant at Wardown), Messrs. A. Burnot. Godfrey. Colling, Martin. W. H. Horn. H. Read. F. S. Biggs, A. E. Fisher, R. Durler, and Vauxhall Motor Works; and on arrival at Harpenden were accommodated al the George Hotel, which was their starting point for the race. After running cross-country, a distance of seven and a half miles, they had to run one lap of the course at Wardown. Gunner Perferment proved an easy winner, and completed the distance in 16 mins.

The veterans' race of 120 yards was open to soldiers who enlisted before 1899, and they were allowed one yard handicap for each year of service preceding that date.

The band race was also amusing. The members of the band had to run across the course whilst playing their instruments. Drummer Charles (an old Grenadier Guardsman) had the greatest difficulty, he being encumbered with a large drum.

Mrs, C. H. Alexander gracefully presented the prizes at the conclusion of the sports.

At the close of the sports dancing was entered into heartily, for which the "Camp Orchestra" provided the music under the excellent conductorship of Bandmaster H. Alexander, and during the afternoon rendered some delightful selections.

The proceeds, which are to benefit Wardown V.A.D. Hospital and the Royal Artillery Prisoners of War Fund, are not yet in hand, but it is anticipated they will reach £290.

The Committee

Who were responsible for the arrangements and organisation.

  • President Major. A. G. Scammell, D .S O.
  • Vice President Capt. C. Lane
  • Hon' Sec' Capt J. Colbert
  • Dep' Hon' Sec' Gnr. A. E. White.
  • Clerk of the Court
    • Lieutenant R.E. Johnson
    • R.S.M. French

Judges. Capt. J. Hawkes Rueit. Lieuts. H. E. Swaning. K. Harris. A.H.D. Speirs. A. N. Stannard. M. Kerry, J. A. Markwitz. and W. Durbridge, Sec-Lieut J. E.

Starters. Capts. A. E. Shuter and J. Northover. Ast'. Starters. B.S.M. Wellard and Minor, Sgt. Broughton.

Timekeepers. Sec. Lieuts. C. G. Pearce and A. J. Lamb, Mr. J. Eaton Smith, L.A.C.: B.S M.'s Horner and Bendelow, B.Q.M.S. Hopper.

Stewards. Major J. H. Hind, Lieuts. W, H. C. Baker, A. G. Ogden, and C. T. Wilson, Sec. Lieut. A. T. Pankhurst, B.S.M. Hall, B.Q M S. Swan. Staff Sgt. Wheeler Buernel, Sgts. J. W. Rowson. C. H. Skelton, Vickers. W. G. Smith and Milligan. Cpls. Amey. Pattison. Groves. Cook, and Anderson. Bdr. Durior.

The following were the winners of the races:

  • Marathon Race.
    • 1: Gnr. Perferment
    • 2:Bdr. Bevan
    • 3: Gnr. Smith
    • 4: Gnr. Groves;
    • while the following also received small prizes. 5: Gnr. Priest. 6: Sgt. Preesfield. 7: Gnr. Cooper. 8:. Gnr. Gardner. 9: Dvr. Donaghue: 10: Cpl, Sharp. 11: Cpl. Davis. 12: Gnr. E. White.
  • Throwing the cricket ball.
    • 1. Gnr. Church   Distance, 89yds 9ins.
    • 2. S.B. Pitt
    • 3. Gnr. Spanawick.
  • Bomb Throwing.
    • 1. S.B. Pitt
    • 2. Gnr. Blowey
    • 3, Bdr. Warren.
  • Long Jump.
    • 1, Gnr. Leadbetter  Distance. 15ft.
    • 2, B.Q.M.S, Everrett
    • 3, Gnr. Unsworth.
  • Half mile No. 6 Res. Brigade. Championship.
    • 1, Gnr. Morley  2 mins 15 seconds.
    • 2. Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • 3, Bdr. Warren. Times.
  • 100 Yards (Heats).
    • Heat 1, Bdr. Willingham
    • Heat 2. Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • Heat 3, Cpl. Griffith
    • Heat 4, Sgt. Goodyer.
  • 100 Yards (Final)
    • 1. Dvr Shelmerdine
    • 2. Sgt. Goodyer
    • 3. Bdr. Willingham.
  • Sack Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • 2. Gnr. Woolley
    • 3. Gnr. Jacobwicz.
  • 440 Yards.
    • 1. Dvr. Shelmerdine  55 seconds.
    • 2. Sec. Lieut. W. Todd
    • 3. Gnr. Ieadbetter
    • 4. Bdr. Abbot. Time.
  • Veterans' Handicap [120 Yards).
    • 1. Seymour
    • 2. Sgt. Pearson
    • 3, B.S.M. Horner
    • 4, Sgt. Saddler. Randall.
  • Putting the Shot.
    • 1, B.Q.M.S. Everett  Distance, 26ft 7in.
    • 2, Gnr. Harding
    • 3. Sgt. Smith.
  • Four-legged Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Hart. Price, and Leadbetter
    • 2. Gnr. Perry. Sgt. Serannage, and Gnr. Lewis
    • 3. Dvrs. Mills. Turner, and Strangeward
  • N.C.O.’s Race (220 Yards).
    • 1. Bdr. Willinghem  Time. 25 3.5 Seconds.
    • 2. Cpl, Griffith
    • 3. Bdr. Warren.
  • Tilting the Bucket
    • 1, Gnr. Osborne and Dvr. Reeves
    • 2. Gnrs. Tubb and Church
    • 3, Sgts, Serannage and Wilson.
  • One Mile No. 6 Res. Brigade Championship
    • 1. Gnr. Perfrement  Time 5 mins. 32 4.5 Seconds.
    • 2. Gnr. Weedon
    • 3. Dvr. Clee.
  • Gas Helmet Race.
    • 1, Gnr. Leister
    • 2, Gnr. Edwards
    • 3. Gnr. Perry.
  • Mop Tournament (pairs).
    • 1. Gnrs. Jacobwicz and Blowey
    • 2. Gnrs. Turner and Fordham
    • 3. Dvrs. Strangeward and Mills.
  • High Jump.
    • 1, Sgt. Goodyer  Height, 5ft.
    • 2. Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • 3. Dvr. Witter
  • Two Mile Cycle Race.
    • 1. Sgt Smith  Time 5mins, 15 seconds.
    • 2. Cpl. Reeve
    • 3 Gnr. Prowse.
  • Pole Fight.
    • 1, Gnr. Blowey
    • 2, Sgt. Serannage.
  • Sergeants Race (120 Yards).
    • 1. Sgt Goodyer  Time 13 seconds.
    • 2. Sgt. Aitken
    • 3. B.Q.M.S, Everitt.
  • 120 Yards (Hurdles). Heat winners:
    • Sgt. Goodyer
    • Gnr Weedon
    • Dvr. Shelmerdine
    • Gnr. Chignell
    • Gnr. Thorneycroft
    • Gnr. Leadbetter.
  • 120 Yards Hurdles (Final)
    • 1. Goodyer  16 2.5 seconds.
    • 2. Shelmerdine
    • 3. Thorneycroft. Time,
  • 120 Yard. Officers' Race (in Uniform)
    • 1. Sec. Lt. W. Todd
    • 2. Sec. Lt. A. J. Lamb.
  • Half-mile Open.
    • 1. Sgt- F. Brinkman (Ampthill command)
    • 2. Mr. A. H. Ray (George Kent's)
    • 3. Pte. Whitehouse (A.V.C., Stockwood)
    • 4. Mr. H F. Gray (Chaul End).
  • Half-mile Relay Race.
    • 1. Headquarters Biscot  Time, 1min. 45 secs.
    • 2. A Battery. Biscot
    • 3. R.E. (Halton Park)
  • 100 Yards Patient's Race.
    • 1. McNamers
    • 2. Custance
    • 3. Bailey
    • 4. Hilliard.
  • 60 Yard Nurses Race.
    • 1. Nurse M. Tomson
    • 2. Nurse D. Tomson
    • 3. Green
    • 4. Nurse Butcher
    • 5. Mrs. Durler
    • 6. Nurse Lye.
  • Boat Race.
    • 1. Headquarters
    • 2. D Battery.
  • One Mile (Open).
    • 1. Mr. A H. Ray (Kent's)
    • 2. Pte. Whitehouse (A.V.C.. Stockwood)
    • 3. Sgt. F. Blakeman (Ampthill Command)
    • 4. Gnr. Payne.
  • Inter Battery Tug of War (Heats)
    • D Battery beat Headquarters.
    • A Battery beat C Battery.
    • D Battery beat A Battery.
    • The Royal Engineers beat D Battery.
  • Officers' vs. Sergeants' Tug-of-War
    • The Sergeants won.
  • Obstacle Race.
    • 1. Gnr. Smith
    • 2, Gnr. Herbert
    • 3. Lieut. A. J. Lamb
    • 4. Sgt. Serranage
    • 5. Gnr. Chignell.
  • Band Race
    • 1. Sgt. Eastaff
    • 2. Gnr. Bennett
    • 3. Gnr. Voorzanger

Prize Donors

  • Col. Carruthers
  • A Sapwell
  • V. Sunman
  • C. Collings
  • F. S. Biggs
  • P. Ellingham
  • H. Woods
  • O. F. Small
  • S. Dunham
  • F. Burgess
  • A. Richardson
  • H. Brown
  • C. Robinson
  • H. Cook
  • H. Blundell
  • F. Godfrey
  • W. F. Mullett
  • R. Burley
  • Omar W. Sinfield
  • W. Alldor Tennant
  • H. Parsons
  • S. Toyer
  • S. Sapwell
  • C. Clarke
  • W. Bootes
  • W. Room
  • G.B. Stratton
  • W.J. Primott.
  • T. Allen
  • A. G. Baker
  • H. Buckmaster
  • F. Day (leagrave)
  • Wild. Miles. Covington
  • Dow. W. Bell
  • Harold. Barker
  • Mrs. Durler
  • C. A. Coutts and Co. per Mr. Thorogood
  • Clay and Sons
  • E. Ward and Co. per Mr. Seamark
  • Messrs Weekea. Ltd.
  • Halford Cycle Co.
  • Boots Cash Chemists
  • Messrs. Deacons (jewellers)
  • New Hudson Cycle Co.
  • Webb Bros.
  • Diamond Foundary per Mr. H. N. Davis
  • Strange and Co.
  • Sanders and Brightman
  • Wing, Arnold, and Wing.
  • A. and G. Robinson
  • Gibbs and Dandy
  • J. W. Green, Ltd.
  • Alderman A Wilkinson.
  • Mr. Sapper. Red Lion Hotel
  • Driver W. P. Parsons.

Other Donations

  • Mr. D. Stern (Bute-Street) rendered valuable assistance by motoring Gnr. White round the district in distributing bills and tickets, etc
  • The civilian public warmly responded in every way to any demands made from Biscot
  • Councillor H. Impey (Chairman Parks Committee) and Mr. West (Parks Superintendent) also ably assisted.


Event Place: 

Keywords for this event?: 

Luton ward: 

Connects to: 


Source Date: 

Thursday, July 26, 1917

1918 Regimental Sports Day Wardown Park

Event Start and End Date: 

20th July 1918

Successful Day at Wardown.

One of those occasions which do so much to foster the right spirit among a large body of men WAS arranged for the R.F.A, depot from Biscot on Saturday, when the regimental sports were held at Wardown.

The organisers were kept on tenterhooks until , the last . minute, for the unfettled weather had anything but an encouraging influence upon the public, who were expected in large numbers. However, after a few showers the weather cleared up and for some time during the afternoon, the organising officers were rewarded with a large and appreciative audience.

The arrangements were on lines far from niggardly, and were carried out with military smartness and dispatch. The winning posts were connected with the signal board by telephone, and the results of the races were thus made known to the crowd within a few seconds of their completion

The military police, under Sgt. J. Saville, did good work at the ropes, their services being the more appreciated by reason of the fact that this work was voluntarily undertaken in addition to their usual duties.

A musical programme was given during the afternoon by the Middlesex Regiment Depot Band, under Bandmaster G. E. Hudson (by permission of Lieut.-Col. W. D. Ingle), and later on selections were rendered by the Biscot Orchestra, under Cpl. V. Carter.

The Races

The first races were for children of N.C.O.’s and men of the R.F.A., the following being the winners: Masters Fred and George Dimmock, and Misses Scholey (aged 6) and Morley. The Iast-named is a tiny tot who has not yet reached her third birthday, and she made her debut with a grace and simplicity which captivated all hearts.

The programme, after the children's races, WAS as follows:

  • Throwing the cricket ball.—1, Cpl. Pitt; 2, Gnr. Vials; 3, Lieut. Lowe.
  • Marathon race.—1, Bdr. Perfrement; 2, Sgt. McConnell; 3. Dvr. Waller; 4, GNR. Pressey.
  • Half-mile brigade championship.—1, Bdr. Morley (holder); 2, Gnr. Lewis; 3, Gnr. Barnes.
  • Bomb throwing.—1, Gnr. Lumley; 2, Cpl. Double; 3, Gnr. Pitt.
  • Long jump.—1, Gnr. Tucker; 2, Gnr. Blackman; 3, Sec. Lieut. McMurray.
  • Sergeant's 22 yards.-1, Sgt. Powell.
  • Sack race.—1, Gnr. Clevely; 2, Gnr. Royles.
  • Veterans' 100 yards.—1, C.S.M. Munday; 2, B.S.M. Hunt.
  • N.C.O.’s race, 220 yards.—1, Bdr. Bidewell; 2, Cpl. Maurer; 3, Bdr. Drohan.
  • Tilting the bucket.—1, Gnrs. Hardwick and Evans; 2 Gnrs. Edwards and Brooke.
  • 100 yards.—1, Sec. Lieut. McMurray; 2, Gnr. Blackman; 3, Gnr. Savage.
  • High jump.—1, Gnr. Blackman; 2, Lieut. Campbell; 3, Sec. Lieut. Bishop.
  • Nurses’ relay race.—1, Miss Cumberland; 2, Miss Jacob; 3, Miss Crewe; 4, Miss Boyd.
  • One mile brigade championship.—1, L/Bdr. Hart; 2, Bdr. Morley; 3, Gnr. Tucker.
  • Putting the shot.—1, Pte. Alibone; 2, R.S.M. Thompson.
  • Four-legged race.—1, Cpl. Maurer, Bdr. Drohan. and Bdr. License; 2, Gnrs. Wilde, Prosser, and Manship; 3, Gnrs. Hardwick, Osborne, and Evans.      
  • 440 yards race.—1, Gnr. Tucker; 2, Gnr. Saxton: 3, Gnr. Blackman.
  • Gas helmet race.—1, Gnr. Wilde; 2, Dvr. Houer; 3, Gnr. Manship.
  • Mop tournament (pairs).—1, Gnrs. Wilde and Manship; 2, Gnrs. Bouker and Austen.
  • Obstacle race.—1, Gnr. Hutchinson; 2, Gnr. Wilde; 3, Gnr. Hardwick; 4, Bdr. Street.
  • 220 yards (open).—1, Pte. J. Lindsey, "N.Z. Depot";2. Gnr C. Watson, Surrey A.C.; 3, W. T. Panter, Birchill Harriers.
  • 100 yards officers’ race (in uniform).—1, Sec. Lieut. McMurray; 2, Lieut. Lake.
  • 880 yards (open).—1, Cpl. Mason, "N.Z. Depot"; 2, Pte. Thomas, A.S.C.; 3, Gnr. Small.
  • 80 yards patients race.—1, Pte. Alson,
  • 120 yards hurdle race—1, Bdr. Morley; 2. Gnr. Saxton; 3, Gnr. Savage.
  • Half-mile inter-battery relay face.—1, A Battery; 2, Headquarters.
  • Ladies' relay race.—1, Kent’s A.C.
  • One mile open.—-1, Cp. Mason, N.Z.; 2, Pte. Thomas. A.S.C.; 3, Gnr. Small.
  • Inter-battery tug-of-war.—D. Battery.
  • Bun eating competition.—1, Gnr. Morgan; 2, Gnr. Osborne; 3, Gnr. Vials; 4, Gnr. Landsell.
  • Two mile team race.—1, "N.Z. Depot"; 1st
  • 80 yards band race—1, Painter; 2, Fardell.

Other features of the programme—in the nature of “side shows were physical displays. including fine parallel bar work by the Physical Training Staff under C.S.M. Inst. Mundy.

Prize Distribution

After the sports the prizes were distributed by Brigadier-General C. H. de la Montague Hill, C.B, C.M.G.

On receiving their prises. Bdrs. Perfrement (the marathon winner) and Morley were loudly cheered. Special applause also greeted Messrs. Kent's team, winners of the ladies’ relay race, and “ Don " Battery (to use the technical parlance), who won the inter-battery tug-o’ war. The Brigade Commander’s special trophy, given to the competitor with the most points, went to Bdr. Morley, with 15. A first place counted four points, a second three, a third, two, and a fourth, one.

The distribution over, the Brigade .Commander Lieut.Col. R. E. A. le Motte ex- pressed the hearty thanks of all to General Hill for taking such a keen interest in the sports. Three lusty cheers were given for him. The Commander also expressed thanks to Lieut.-Col. W. T. Odam, Lieut. Howell, and the Committee for their work, and to the various firms and people at Luton who had contributed to the day’s success. A vote of thanks to all helpers was passed.

The Sports Committee

  • President. Lieut.-Col. W. T. Odam, D.S.O., T.D.
  • Vice-President, Capt. J. Northover
  • Hon. Sec., Lieut. P. H. Howell
  • Assistant Hon. Secretary. Gnr. A. E. White
  • Clerks of the Course
    • Mr. G. Gibbs, C.C.A.C
    • R.S.M. Thompson
    • R.S.M. Price
  • Referee, Lieut.-Col. A. G. Scammell, D.S.O.
  • Judges
    • Captain G. H. Chubb
    • Captain C. R. de Fraine
    • Captain C. H. Sercombe
    • Captain C. Bell
    • Lieutenant E. A. Mortleman
    • Lieutenant A. Ogden
    • Lieutenant H. V. Ramsey
    • Lieutenant A. H. D. Spice
    • Lieutenant J. V. Wilshin
  • Starters
    • Capt. J. Northover
    • Lieutenant V. C. Lake
    • Lieutenant J. Colley
  • Assistant Starters
    • C.S.M. Cowles
    • Sgt. Broughton
    • B.S.M. Kirkbride
  • Timekeepers
    • Capt. E. Swanston
    • Mr. J. Eton Smith L.A.C
    • Lieutenant C. G. Pearce
    • R.Q.M.S. Holsdon
    • Q.M.S Caskin
    • Q.M.S. Slark
  • Stewards
    • Major J. W. T. Newbury
    • Captain J.S. Ridge
    • Captain G. H. Goodenough
    • Lieutenant A. J. Earl
    • Lieutenant W. Honey
    • Lieutenant A. J. Lowe
    • Lieutenant G. N. Graburn
    • Lieutenant K. H. Martin
    • Lieutenant S. A. Randolph
    • Lieutenant A. H. Stannard
    • Second Lieutenant W. C. L. Waite
    • B.S.M Cummer
    • B.S.M. Harrison
    • B.S.M. Morley
    • Staff-Sergeant Buesnel
    • Staff-Sergeant Shepherd
    • Staff-Sergeant Woods
    • Sergeant Amey
    • Sergeant Bellman
    • Sergeant Smith
    • Corporal Double
    • Bombardier Durier
    • Bombardier Richardson


Donations and articles were kindly given by the following: £100 in War Savings Certificates by the Brigade

  • Lieut.-Col. R. E. A. le Motte, the Brigade Commander, a £5 5s. prize to the man who obtained the most points during the sports:
  • Ward and Co., Ltd., per Mr. Seamark
  • Messrs. Tennant (jeweller)
  • Bailey, J. Dow, H. W. Covington, C. Barker (tobacconists)
  • J. T. Jeffs (jewellers)
  • Coutts and Co., per Mr. Thorogood
  • Mr. Robinson (Liverpool)
  • Messrs. Blundell Bros
  • Messrs. Gibbons and Son (drapers)
  • Mr. A. Smith Wellington Street
  • Messrs Chambers (jewellers)
  • Messrs Gibbs and Dandy
  • Messrs Cooper (drapers)
  • Mr. Dryden (Skefko)
  • Wild and Son, Manchester Street
  • Mr Davis (Diamond Foundry)
  • Mr Butcher (jeweller)
  • Messrs Webb Bros, George street
  • Vauxhall Motors (Mr. Pomeroy), per Mr. Edwards
  • Mr. Pledge, Wellington Street
  • Messrs Farmer and Co. Wellington Street
  • Mr. H. Stalker, Mr. Arthur Staddon (printers)
  • Messrs Brown and Thomas, Bute Street
  • Mr  Allen, Mr. H. Arnold, Hat Materials Ltd.
  • Mr. Allder (jeweller)
  • Boots. Cash Chemists
  • Commercial Cars Ltd (Mr. Underdown), per Mr. Coxhead
  • Mr. H. Pedder, Moulders Arms, Park Street
  • Mr. Ted Taylor, Albion
  • Mr. W. Dawson, Freeholders Arms, High Town.

The proceeds will be divided between Wardown V.A.D. and the Bute Hospitals and the R.A. Prisoners of War Fund.


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Source Date: 

Thursday, July 25, 1918

Wounded Soldiers Entertained

Event Start and End Date: 

28th July 1917

On Saturday afternoon, forty patients from the F.M.S. Military Hospital. Blackmore End. Wheathampstead, and ten patients from Wardown V.A.D. Hospital, were entertained in the large mess-room at Messrs. G. Kent's. Ltd., by the girls of No. 121 Fuse Department.

The soldiers were welcomed by Councillor C. W. Escott, and were photographed with their hostesses. While they partook of a substantial meat tea, Messrs. G. Kent’s Works Orchestra rendered selections, under the conductorship of Mr. J. J. Wellsby.

After tea, a party of Biscot boys and some lady friends gave an excellent concert, which was highly appreciated. Councillor C. W. Escott expressed thanks on behalf of the girls to the artistes, and also to the members of the orchestra, and all who had assisted in carrying out the arrangements. Thanks were also accorded to the Vauxhall Motors. Ltd.. and Messrs. G. Kent. Ltd. who conveyed the soldiers to the works in motor-cars.

Event Place: 

Charity and Donations

V.A.D. Hospitals relied on local and charitable support to operate. The people of Luton seemed only to keen to help raise money for Wardown V.A.D. Hospital, and there are ample reports of kindness and donations to the hospital and its patients.

The excellent equipment of the Operating Theatre, wards, and Recreation Room, were very largely the outcome of donations in kind or money from numerous well-wishers. Including, but not limited to Lady Wernher for the operating table and steam steriliser, to Mr. Fred Beecroft for the instrument cabinet and stand; Mr. F. E. Shoosmith for lotion bowls and stand; Mr A. E. Fisher for Ambulance stretcher; Mr. Keithley for the bagatelle table; the management of the Palace Theatre for merlin chair and stretcher: Mr. A. E. Cumberland and Mrs. G. Carruthers for merlin chairs; and to Mrs. Andrew Carruthers for the bath chair.

Besides the above, the hospital received frequent contributions of vegetables, fruit, groceries, eggs, and dairy produce, to say nothing of tobacco and cigarettes, and comforts of all kinds for the patients.

The staff remember, were mostly volunteers, and they were acknowledged with gratitude in an annual general meeting for "the cheerful and willing help afforded to us by the whole staff from the Commandants downwards, not forgetting the splendid labours of the Honorary Medical and Dental Staffs, the members of which, in spite of serious overwork occasioned by the absence of so many of their colleagues on active service, have given ungrudgingly so much of their time and attention to the Hospital."

Specialised skills were also donated by the community e.g. a Mr. Allen gave freely his time and skill in the capacity of Masseur, to the benefit and appreciation of patients and staff alike. Miss M. Parker filled temporarily the offices of Secretary and Quartermaster, and also organised such novel and interesting competitions for the patients. Mr. Percy Alien provided motor cars on numerous occasions for the transport of patients; and the management and employees of Messrs. George Kent. Ltd.. Commercial Cars Ltd., Skefko. Diamond Foundry,  Vauxhall Motors, and other firms for organised entertainments on behalf of the hospital.

The members of the Luton and District Master Hairdressers’ Association gave up their Sundays and Wednesdays to attend the patients free of all charge, and helped raise funds for the hospital by holding a whist drive. The membership of the Men’s Red Cross Sections 1 and 3 gave energetic services in window cleaning, orderly and night duty, and a Mr. Sidney Attwood provided mineral waters. A great number of ladies and gentlemen helped to entertain the patients by concerts, or other ways, either inside or outside the hospital.

The public ensured, due to their generosity, that the public the finances of the Hospital were in a satisfactory condition.

The Town Council of Luton let the hospital use Wardown Park rent free, and gave assistance in repairs and alterations, and for the provision of more adequate sanitation. The Parks Committee afforded the staff and patients special privileges; and Mr. A. E. Wray, of the Luton Tramways, provided free tram services for the patients to attend entertainments in town.

With the aid of so many generous gifts, and by the endeavours of the staff, Wardown became, one of the most efficient V.A.D. Hospitals in the county.

Egg collecting for wounded soldiers

Event Start and End Date: 

3rd June 1917 to 8th June 1917

In order to elicit the sympathies of the boys at the Old Bedford-road Boys’ School, the teachers are stimulating interest in the local hospital at Wardown by egg collecting. It is surprising what can be effected in this way, and some beneficial assistance given. The week preceding Whitsuntide the boys in Class 8 collected 28 eggs, and last week the boys in Classes 7 and 9 together obtained 60. The teachers concerned are Messrs. Bragg, Sear, and G. W. Walker, and no doubt the results will act as an incentive to the other classes. The boys are being taught that no real happiness can accrue except through self-denial and sacrifice, hence' those who cannot bring eggs are encouraged to subscribe pence which otherwise would have gone in sweets. The true spirit of the idea is inculcated with good results. In response the wounded soldiers have expressed appreciation in letters. Looking over the last list appears the name of one of the old boys of the school, and its discovery led to gratification, as the boys felt they were really being of service in the war.

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Report on Wardown V.A.D. Hospital

Event Start and End Date: 

10th June 1917 to 16th June 1917


Admitted: 20

Discharged: 10

Remaining in care: 53

Gifts received




Denmark House

6x N.T.F

The Committee

Walking Sticks

Mrs. Smith


Mr. Lewin


Mr. Shane


Councillor Oakley

50 eggs

Old Bedford Road Boys School (classes 7 & 9)

£1 Donation

Employees of Messers Kent

106 eggs

The Good Templars

£4 13s 9d

Collection at Luton Hoo Chapel

216 eggs

King Street PSA


17th Training Reserve Officers Mess


Mr. Kent


Mrs. Verran


Mrs. Frank Merchant


Mrs. Evans

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Deaths at Wardown Military Hospital

Total: 29 as reported in the Luton News & None reported for 1916, double checked.










Photos of Wardown Park V.A.D. Hospital

All the photo's we have of Wardown Park V.A.D. Hospital, can be found in this .pdf file. 

The Annexe at Wardown Hospital

Wardown Hospital closure gathering

Event Start and End Date: 

20th May 1919

An interesting occasion was that at Wardown V.A.D. Hospital on Tuesday evening [May 20th, 1919]. After years of magnificent service throughout the war in tending the sick and wounded soldiers back to health and strength, the time had come to part from these war associations.

The circumstances could not but call for a great measure of regret, for Wardown Hospital housed a very happy and hard-working family during the war. Thanks to Mr and Mrs F. W. Plummer, the host and hostess of the evening, the emphasis was laid on the pleasurable side of the evening's breaking-up presentations and speeches.

The proceedings were of quite an informal nature, and a delightful entertainment was given by London artistes. Songs were prettily rendered by Miss Whymant and Master Basil Dines, of Luton, and Mr Ellcock was the accompanist.

During the evening the assembly adjourned for refreshments. There was a large gathering, including the whole of the hospital staff in indoor uniform, the medical staff, the Hospital Committee and other friends. All enjoyed the evening's pleasure so kindly given by the host and hostess, and the gathering proved a most fitting finale to the splendid war period of national service.

There were several interesting presentations in the earlier part of the evening. The Joint Commandants, Mrs J. W. Green OBE and Mrs R. Durler OBE, received from the staff admirable illuminated addresses. On the top appears the name of the Red Cross Society, and the wording on each is as follows: "This address is presented to Mrs Mary A. Green OBE (the other address bore Mrs Durler's name) by the members and staff of her detachment, No 12, Bedford, as an expression of esteem and affection, and in recognition of her devoted and unselfish service as Commandant of the Wardown V.A.D. Hospital, Luton, from October 1914 to May 1919."

Sister Hobbs made the presentations amidst applause, and the recipients feelingly responded.

Mrs Green remarked as that was probably the last occasion on which they would all meet together, she wanted to thank all who had given her such generous support.

The hospital was opened in October 1914, and in November 1915 was taken over by the Red Cross. Since then over 3,500 patients had been through the hospital. The busiest and most anxious period was during the influenza epidemic last winter.

It would have been impossible to have accomplished so much without the goodwill and great interest of all, especially as nearly all the work was voluntary. Their thanks were due to the Town Council for the loan of the building, and to Col Stevens, the County Director, who had been most kind and helpful. To Mr F. W. Plummer and the Committee she extended most grateful thanks for his hospitality that evening.

When she thought of all connected with the hospital she felt that no hospital ever had a more devoted band of workers. They remembered the kind friends who helped so much lending furniture, and giving food, fruit and flowers. The interest taken by all in the neighbourhood had been a great encouragement.

They owed gratitude to the medical staff - (applause) - for the doctors had given much time despite the calls on their time, and had given of their best to the patients. She thanked the nurses, cooks and all workers in the hospital from the bottom of her heart. She would never forget their loyalty. In Sister Hobbs they had an ideal sister, whose cheerfulness and devotion had endeared her to all.

Now that the hospital was a thing of the past, she knew all would look back with pride and pleasure to their association with it, and they felt better women for having done their best to relieve some of the suffering of those who fought for the country in the war - (applause).

Mrs Green then presented Sister Hobbs with a handsome solid silver toilet set, and, in responding, the Sister said she had enjoyed the work and had been very happy there.

Some weeks later, Sister Hobbs, along with V.A.D. nurse Miss Winifred Green, was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd class, for valuable nursing service during the war.

Sister Hobbs, the daughter of Luton businessman and photographer Mr T. G. Hobbs, had been in charge of nursing at Wardown since 1916, when she succeeded Sister Cooper. In January 1917 she was praised for the speed with which wards were cleared when a fire broke out at Wardown. Hospital staff also got the small blaze in an annexe under control using chemical extinguishers, leaving the borough brigade with little to do upon their speedy arrival.



Wardown Hospital staff and wounded soldiers

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Thursday, May 22, 1919

More beds for soldiers at Wardown Hospital

Digest of stories from The Luton News: Thursday, May 9th, 1918.

Wardown Hospital soldier patients and staff

Luton Town Council's Park Committee reported receiving Mr F. W. Plummer and Councillor Hubbard as a deputation from the Wardown V.A.D. Hospital Committee with respect to a request made to the hospital to provide accommodation for a further 20 wounded and discharged soldiers.

To accomplish this, additional room would be required, and the hospital authorities wished to avoid the delay and expense which would be entailed by the erection of an annexe. Councillor Impey, the Chairman of the Parks Committee, had suggested that arrangements should be made to provide the wife and children of the caretaker with a home in the town rent free, so as to release the rooms they occupy for hospital purposes. The Committee recommended the Chairman, Borough Engineer and Parks Superintendent should make the necessary arrangements.

Moving the adoption of the report on Tuesday night, Councillor Impey referred to the fact that the caretaker himself was in the Army and had been wounded. He added that they had been able to meet the wishes of the deputation, and the caretaker's family would be removed and returned to Wardown free of expense when the premises were no longer required by the hospital.

Councillor Hubbard thanked the Committee and the Council on behalf of the Hospital for the expeditious manner in which their request had been met. It would interest the Council to know gthat there were come very seriously wounded men, some had lost an eye, and arm or a leg, and others with badly suppurating wounds occupying beds in London hospital while on the way to convalescence.

The action of the Council would now enable some of them to be removed to Wardown, and it would be much appreciated by the soldiers there, for Wardown seemed almost like heaven to some of them after their experiences.

  • There was a large gathering of women workers in the Council Chamber of the Luton Town Hall on Thursday evening when addresses were given by Lady Cowen, Mrs Prothero and Miss Thompson, and a local branch of the National Union of Women Workers of Great Britain and Ireland was formed. Lady Cowen said the Union welcomed the worker with the brain as well as the worker with the hands. They were non-party and welcomed equally woman of all shades of political opinion, and those with no political views at all. Officers appointed provisionally until an annual meeting was held were: President, the Mayoress (Mrs Dillingham); Vice-President, Mrs Keens; Hon Secretary, Mrs Ebbs; Assistant Hon Secretary, Miss Forman; Hon Treasurer, Mrs Fletcher.

  • Owing to other calls upon her time, Mrs G. E. M. Walker, who has been Hon Secretary of the Luton Women's Unionist War Working Party ever since its inception on August 10th, 1914, has felt obliged to resign her position. At the last meeting she was presented with a large hammered English pewter fern bowl as a mark of appreciation of her work.

  • Cpl C. H. Hanson (Royal Field Artillery) had a nasty accident while riding a restive horse at Biscot yesterday. It reared, threw him off and galloped over him, bruising his back and ribs. He was taken to the Bute Hospital, where his injuries, which turned out to be not serious, are being treated.

  • Yesterday's post brought welcome news to Mrs Clark, of 132 Wenlock Street, Luton. After being in anxiety concerning her missing husband since March 21st, she received a card from him saying he was a prisoner at Limburg in Germany, but quite well. Pte Josiah Clark (Staffordshire Regiment) was formerly a Luton Corporation labourer.

  • Mrs Allen, of 5 Pondwicks Road, Luton, has had official news that he husband, Pte C. H. Allen (Essex Regiment), has been missing since March 28th. [Pte Allen was later confirmed to be a prisoner of war in Germany.]

  • Yesterday morning at King Street Congregational Church, Miss Dorothy M. White, daughter of Mr and Mrs H. White, of New Bedford Road, was married by the Rev E. B. Mahon to Mr Frederick S. Booth, son of Mr A. F. Booth, the well-known hat manufacturer. The bridegroom was one of the earliest volunteers in the war and saw active service with the London Regiment in France. He was badly wounded and subsequently discharged.

  • An application was received by Luton Town Council from the 'N.T.F.' Committee to hold a concert at Wardown Park on White Sunday or Whit Monday in aid of their Prisoners of War Fund. They pointed out that by a donation of £50 this week they had now contributed in 22 months a sum of £726 and were desirous of realising a total of £1,000 by the end of the second year. Councillor Primett said there had been 16 prisoners added during the last few days and the Prisoners of War Fund would need replenishing more than in the past. The application for use of the park was unanimously agreed.

  • Prisoners of war: Pte Horace William Kilby (East Surrey Regiment), 11 Salisbury Road, Luton; Cpl Henry William Draper (South African Infantry), Lutonian living in South Africa; Sgt Walter Gore (Herts Regiment), 10 Langley Place, Luton; Pte Lionel Bird (Machine Gun Corps), 43 Arthur Street, Luton.

  • Roll of honour:Pte Ralph Crawley (Royal Fusiliers), 201 High Town Road, Luton; Pte James Charles Bent (West Yorkshire Regiment), 135 North Street, Luton.

  • A month ago Mr and Mrs William Biggs, of 23 Vicarage Street, Luton, were officially notified that their only son, Pte Arthur William Biggs (Essex Regiment) was wounded on March 22nd. this was the extent of the information, for the form did not even say that he had been admitted to hospital, but was accompanied by a notice stating that no further information was to hand. [Pte Biggs is recorded as having been killed in action on March 21st, 1918.]

  • The wife of Pte S. G. Gutteridge (Beds Regiment), of Mangrove, has received the news that her husband was wounded on March 28th, and is now at Chichester Military Hospital with wounds in the head, right hand and arm.

  • Mr Albert Tompkins, of Crutchmore Farm, Mangrove, has been officially informed that his son, Pte Albert Joseph Tompkins (Oxford and Buck Light Infantry) was officially reported missing from March 21st. [Pte Tompkins was killed in action near Arras on that date.]

  • The park keepers have complained to police of boys throwing stones in the park, and on May 1st Pc Frost caught a number of boys on the bridge over the lake throwing stones at a boat passing underneath. The boys, who work at Messrs Lye's dyeworks, were in the park during the dinner hour. They said they were splashing some boys who had done the same to them the previous day. Five boys, all from Stopsley, were fined five shillings each.

  • The Rev Harold J. W. Knights, who was curate at Christ Church, Luton, from 1907 to 1912, is now a chaplain with the Forces in the Holy Land, where so many Luton men are serving with the Bedfordshire Regiment.

  • An alarming accident occurred in Cheapside about 4pm on Saturday. A horse attached to a horse-breaking gig owned by Mr Albert Saunders, of Round Green, took fright at a passing motor car belonging to the Steam Laundry Co. It reared up on the footwalk and put one of its forelegs through the window of Messrs Blundell Bros' warehouse on the opposite side to the firm's shop, smashing a plate glass window. The animal was slightly injured by broken glass.

  • Sunday last being Rogation Sunday, a service for the blessing of the crops was held in the Stockingstone allotment field by the Vicar of Stopsley (Rev Shorting), assisted by Mr A. Monger, the licensed lay reader of St John's Mission Church, Round Green, and the choir boys from Stopsley and Round Green all being robed. There were a good number of allotment holders present, with their wives and friends.

  • On Saturday afternoon, in the presence of a large number of people, Archdeacon Kenneth Gibbs, of St Albans, dedicated a lych gate at St Mary's Church, Offley, the same having been erected by the members of the family of the late Colonel and Mrs Gosling.

  • The managers of Caddington Group of County Council Schools met at Luton Unions House on Monday evening. A letter of complaint was read from Mr H. T. Smith, caretaker of Norton Road School, Leagrave, saying he was sorry the County Council could not allow him any grant for cleaning materials, as his wages "were not too much". The school was in a very dirty condition when he took over the duties, and the only tools left were "one pail with a hole in the bottom and an old scrubbing brush". The Chairman (Mr W. T. Lye) explained that the County Council had definitely refused to make a grant for cleaning materials, and they could do nothing further.

  • The sequel to the using of a motor car at a local wedding last Thursday was heard at the Luton Borough Court yesterday. Mr J. W. Green, of The Larches, New Bedford Road was summoned using gas for his car contrary to the restriction order, and also with not having obtained a gas permit. Me Green held that a public duty was being performed to carry Mrs Green and her daughter from Wardown Hospital, where they were busy, leaving at the last possible moment and returning to duty again as early as possible. the summons for using the car was dismissed on payment of costs, and a fine of 10 shillings imposed on the second charge.

  • Mr Charles Green, Secretary of the Luton Town Football Club, received at the beginning of the week a letter from Gunner Ernest Simms, the Town centre-forward, who has been serving in Italy, stating that he expects shortly to be in England. In a short letter he said he had undergone an operation on his hip. It would leave him a bit weak for a time, but a load had been lifted from his mind by the advice that it will eventually be all right. Mrs Simms has since received a message stating that her husband has arrived at Shrewsbury Hospital, and that the operation was necessary owing to an abscess forming as the result of an accident.

Establishing a Territorial Hospital at Brook Street

Event Start and End Date: 

8th October 1914


For some time past the R.A.M.C, have had a hospital camp At Wardown, but with the approach of colder weather it has been thought necessary to secure a building where warmth and comfort, combined with better attention, could be secured for the patients. The inmates will not be wounded soldiers from the front, but will comprise local accidents and illnesses of Territorials which in the ordinary course of things come under the care of the R.A.M.C, camp at Wardown.

By the enlistment of the interest, and help of Mrs. J. W. Green and the ladies of the Luton Voluntary Aid Detachments, there is every prospect, for a time, at any rate, of the inmates having the care and attention of local ladies skilled in Red Cross nursing, the promise having been made that until they are required for War Office work, such as would be entailed by the establishment of a hospital for wounded soldiers from the front, either at Luton or in the district, they will establish a rota and undertake the nursing of the sick Territorials dealt with at this particular house.

We learn that an empty residence at the top end of Brook-street has been taken for the purposes of the hospital, and by the generosity of the ladies of the V.A.D. and a few friends, the necessary beds have been secured, as well as the loan of furniture to make the “wards'* cosy and comfortable.

It seems to us it is an excellent departure, and the Territorials who are (un) fortunate enough to require attention will doubtless greatly appreciate a roof over their heads and the ministrations of kindly-disposed nurses, to the less comfortable surroundings in a camp during the cold and rainy weather which may now be expected.

Event Place: 

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Source Date: 

Thursday, October 15, 1914