Mr Albert Arthur Oakley
Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
24 Jun 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Councillor and former Mayor of Luton Albert Arthur Oakley died on June 24th, 1917, following an accident in which he was thrown from his pony and trap in Ash Road, Luton, three days previously.
He was aged 63, twice married, had five sons and a daughter and lived at Hillcroft, High Town Road, Luton. A Primitive Methodist in religion and a Radical in politics, he had co-founded the well-respected grocery and provisions business of Oakley Bros, of 6 Chapel Street and 85 High Town Road.
He and brother Alderman Edwin Oakley, of The Mount, New Bedford Road, Luton, came from Tottenham and started in business in Luton in April 1875. The brothers began in a small way, visiting neighbouring villages and markets including those at St Albans, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Hitchin. By the time of Albert Oakley's death the business was described by The Luton News as probably the largest provisions merchants in three counties.
Albert Oakley became a member of Luton Town Council on November 23rd, 1892 - three weeks after brother Edwin. He was unanimously chosen to represent North Ward in a by-election and was returned unopposed in a seat vacated by the elevation to alderman of a Liberal colleague. He represented the ward for over 24 years and served on several Council committees - Highways and Tolls being his favoured two.
After 11 years service on the Council he was elected Mayor in 1903-04, the year in which Wardown was acquired . Brother Edwin together with Councillor Asher Hucklesby are generally quoted as acquiring the estate and selling it to the Council for the price they paid for it (£16,250), although a newspaper report in August 1903 credits Albert Oakley with also being involved.
Albert Oakley was also elected to Beds County Council in March 1898, and was appointed a JP in Luton in 1909. He was also a governor of Luton Modern School, and helped to form the Luton Tradesmen's Association, of which he was the first President.