Luton has always been proud of its Red Cross Band, said The Luton News (May 31, 1917) in the week it printed pictures of 20 bandsmen who had joined the Colours.
The newspaper featured the Army career of L-Cpl F. W. V. Scott, Royal Irish Rifles (second left, top row). He joined the Luton Territorials in 1910 as a bandsman and was awarded the silver cup for being the smartest recruit. He had also won several prizes for rifle shooting.
In 1914 he was mobilised with the 1/5th Bedfords and went out to Gallipoli as a stretcher bearer, and was in the 'big smash' when so many of the Bedfords figured among the casualties. He was afterwards invalided home with dysentery and jaundice, kept in hospital in England and eventually discharged in 1916.
He started civil employment again at hat manufacturers Carruthers Bros, King Street, but after being there a short time he so much improved in health that he decided to have another turn in the Army. He joined up at the same time and in the same regiment as band conductor Mr F. Mortimer and three others of the Red Cross Band and was serving in France.
Band members pictured above were, top row, left to right:
1. Pte T. Fountain (Beds Regt, France), c/o Mr Skelton, bootmaker, Upper George Street, Luton (trombone).
2. Bandsman F. Scott (Divisional Band, France), of 10 William Street, Luton (trombone)
3. Gunner E. Carter (N.S.R.G.A.), OF 21 Highbury Road, Luton (solo cornet).
4. Air Mechanic S. Cannon (Royal Flying Corps, France), Scotland (cornet).
5. Pte P. Mooring (Mechanical Transport), of 23 Dudley Street, Luton (solo cornet).
6. Saddler B. Hawkes (Royal Field Artillery) (librarian-caretaker).
7. Bandsman J. Murdoch (Divisional Band, France), Scotland (cornet).
8. L-Cpl W. McGeorge (Royal Engineers), of 15 Cross Street, Luton (tenor horn)..
9. L-Cpl H. Ellingham (Royal North Lancs, France), of 23 Tavistock Crescent, Luton (soprano cornet).
Bottom row above, left to right:
1. Pte F. Swain (East Anglian Royal Engineers), of 90 Lea Road, Luton (bass)
2. Bandsman H. Odell (Divisional Band, France), of 88 Butlin Road, Luton (bass)
3. Band Cpl F. Mortimer (Divisional Band, France), of Strathmore, Talbot Road, Luton (conductor).
4. Sapper E. Ellingham (East Anglian Royal Engineers), of 62 Spencer road, Luton (bass).
5. Sgt A. Mullett* (Beds Regiment, France), of 142 Castle Street, Luton (tenor horn).
6. Bandsman A. Swain (Divisional Band, France), of 4 Granville Road, Luton (baritone).
7. Sapper F. Cherry (Royal Engineers, Egypt), of Halfway House, Dunstable Road, Luton (cornet).
8. Pte P. Osborne (Royal Army Medical Corps), of 17 Highbury Road, Luton (cornet).
9. Drummer A. E. Waller (Royal North Lancs, France), of Hillside, Kingston Luton (solo cornet).
Below (left): Pte A. E. Robertson (Mechanical Transport), of Vauxhall Terrace, Kimpton Road, Luton (cornet).
Below (right): Gunner F. Mullett (Royal Field Artillery), (solo cornet player and latterly a first cornet in the Red Cross).
* Sadly, two days after publication of these band member photos, Sgt Albert Mullett was killed in action as the result of a shell striking the parapet of a trench he was occupying with his Lewis gun team.
For more about the history of The Luton Band, as it is now known, click here.