Hitchin Road Boys' School was created in 1883 by the Luton School Board. The memorial lists the names of one master and seventy four old boys "who fell in the First World War". When the school closed in 1967 it was donated to Luton Museum Service and is now on display at Stockwood Discovery Centre.
Below the names the memorial bears a verse from a famous poem. "Vitai Lampada" was written by Sir Henry Newbolt in 1897 about a schoolboy cricketer who grows up to fight in Africa. The poem symbolises a prevalent view in 1914 that war could be fought in the same spirit as school sports.
This is the word that year by year.
While in her place the school is set,
Everyone of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
Thus they all with joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame
And falling fling to the host behind
Play up! play up and play the game!