What was happening in Luton?

This page contains a list of events that occured in Luton and surroundings 1914-1919, as well as global events that affected Luton's people.
When you add an ancestor to this site, it is always a good idea to try and connect them to an 'event' that happened in their life. E.g. if they fought at the Battle of the Somme, then you can make this connection on the 'Add Person' form.

E.g., 17/06/2024
Luton News staff
21st March 1919

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: March 22nd, 1919]

Henry Brown advert
22nd March 1919

The century-old Luton timber firm of Henry Brown & Sons returned to private ownership on March 22nd, 1919, after the business had been commandeered by the Ministry of Munitions during the war. The Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (March 15th) reported:

Wardown Hospital staff and wounded soldiers
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.

19th July 1919

Saturday July 19th 1919 was a national day of celebrations. In Luton, events started with a procession to the Town Hall from Luton Hoo.  Nearly 20,000 people enjoyed sports and entertainment at Wardown. No one could have foreseen how the day would end.

Burnt-down Town Hall, July 20, 1919
19th July 1919

The Peace Day celebrations of July 1919 in which the Town Hall was burned down are notorious in Luton's history – and an event the town seemed to want to forget for decades afterwards.

Mayor Henry Impey, macebearer Frederick Ringall
24th July 1919

It was popularly believed that after Mayor Henry Impey fled his seven-hour ordeal of being barricaded in Luton Town Hall during the Peace Day riots on July 19th, 1919, that he never returned to the town.

Wardown presentation tank
11th February 1920 to 18th February 1920

Luton's tank, presented to the town in recognition of the support accorded to the War Savings movement, is to be placed in Wardown Park in company with a naval gun captured from the Germans in Palestine by the 1/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, reported The Luton News of February 5th

14th August 1920

World War One ammunition resulted in a catastrophic explosion that rocked Luton – but it happened 21 months after the Great War had ended.

14th August 1920

A little group of men stood by the side of a fence near the scene of the Kingsway factory destruction, and it was amongst those that a Telegraph representative discovered some of the survivors of the original explosion.

Luton War Memorial unveiling
10th December 1922

Four years had passed since the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice had brought an end to the most horrific conflict in human history.

24th May 2010

I am writing the History of Waste in Luton from 1850 to 2009, which, of course, includes this history during WW1.  I was Head of Waste Management at Luton Borough Council from 1996 until I retired in 2009, having been employed in a wide variety of posts within the Cleansing Division since Februar

7th February 2014


25th April 2020

During WW2 George Kent Ltd made torpedoes. Horace Dall was chief flow meter designer. During his time there he was called in by the MOD to identify bits from German V1 found in the UK and to thus give his oppinion of some of the V1's likely performance ch