Mr Charles Arthur Irons

Rank or Title

Date of Birth

20 Aug 1863

Date of Death

9 Sep 1941

War time / or Pre War occupation

Town Crier


Manor of Luton

Place of Birth

Cockernhoe nr Luton
United Kingdom

World War I Address

168 Hitchin Road
United Kingdom

Place of Death

Three Counties Hospital (Fairfield) Hospital
United Kingdom

Grave Location

United Kingdom

Soldier or Civilian

  • Civilian

Charles Arthur Irons was appointed Herald of the Manor of Luton, more familiarly referred to as Town Crier, following the death in 1882 of his father, William. He served throughout the Great War and until his death on September 9th, 1941, when his role died with him.

Doubtless he was going about his business not so quietly throughout the war but merited only occasional mentions in the newspapers of the time. Most notably he was reported to have visited all of the town's schools in July 1916 to announce the exhibition of Lord Kitchener's original letter calling for another 300,000 men for the New Army to be held in a large marquee in front of the Town Hall on Monday, July 17th.

Otherwise, mentions of Charles Irons were largely confined to his supervision of the traditional beech bowers when the ancient manorial Court Leet met and to his reappointment to office.

A tip-off to a Saturday Telegraph reporter about the signing of the Armistice in November 1918 enabled the Mayor to make the big announcement from the Town Hall balcony, but Charles Irons toured the town to carry the news further afield, including from his usual post - the curfew tower of St Mary's Church. His wife took a bell to make the announcement in the Round Green and High Town areas, and soon afterwards the Saturday Telegraph was on the streets with special Monday editions carrying the news.

Charles Irons was born at Cockernhoe on August 20th, 1863. His father, who had farmed 1,000 acres of the Putteridge Estate, later became Luton's Town Crier for around 10 years before his death. It was agreed that 19-year-old Charles could succeed him in a post that also included being billposter, bellman and Pound Warden (locking up stray animals).

The Irons family lived in Langley Street, Church Street and Park Square prior to Charles marrying Jenny Pettinger in Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire, on June 3rd, 1913, after which he, his wife and his widowed mother Elizabeth moved to 168 Hitchin Road, Luton. The house was named Ebenezer - Charles having become a staunch Salvationist and his wife was a former Salvation Army captain.

Charles had continued to live at the Hitchin Road address until his death at the Three Counties Hospital (later Fairfield Hospital), Arlesey, in 1941, at the age of 77.


Individual Location

Author: Deejaya

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