Accident patients set hospital record


Digest of stories from The Luton News: Thursday, January 25th, 1917.

Extended Bute Hospital 1912

Of the 521 patients treated at the Bute Hospital over the past year, a record number - 144 - of the admissions were accident cases. The annual report presented on Monday evening revealed that 44 patients had died, four left of their own desire, two were removed to other institutions, 10 were unrelieved or found unsuitable for treatment and 428 were discharged cured or relived. The remaining 33 were still in the wards.

The report also revealed that 219 operations had been carried out during the year, and that 69 of the patients were members of HM Forces.

Owing to the increased cost of provisions, and of nearly all hospital requisites, the average cost per week per bed occupied had risen to 22s 9d, or 3s 3d per day, which under the circumstances might be considered very moderate. This satisfactory result had been greatly aided by the very successful Matron's Pound Day and the Ladies' Work Guild contributions. Income had risen by £269.

A special incident in the history of the institution had been the purchase for £750 of the two houses, Nos 2 and 4 Grove Road, adjoining the hospital, and by the enthusiastic effort of the Mayor (Alderman J. H. Staddon), backed up most readily by the townsfolk, sufficient funds were raised to pay for the property by the time the purchase was ready for completion.

  • At Tuesday's meeting of Luton Town Council, the Sanitary Committee reported receipt of a letter from the Local Government Board stating that steps were being taken to increase the food production of the country by increasing the number of pigs kept and by the development of poultry and rabbit rearing. The letter suggested that sanitary authorities should, where practicable, not enforce strictly the by-laws for the keeping of pigs. The Council decided that prospective pig owners would have to make application to the Medical Officer and the Sanitary Inspector, but there were very few houses in Luton, except on the outskirts, where pigs could be kept.

  • Pte Stanley Squires Cawdell, of the London Regiment, and youngest son of the late Mr W. G. and Mrs Cawdell, was killed in action on January 11th and was buried in a military cemetery near Ypres. The official intimation of Pte Cawdell's death was received on Monday in a letter to his mother. After leaving St Matthew's School he was employed as a clerk by the Midland Railway Co in Luton.

  • A returned hero, a soldier discharged through wounds in the arm, has had to seek Poor Law relief at Luton.

  • Luton Town Council's Electricity and Tramways Committee reported that Mr Wray, the Tramways Manager, had attended their meeting on January 8th but could not given any explanation of the cause of the accident on December 28th. Up to the present no reply had been received to a letter sent to the Board of Trade about the accident, and the Town Clerk was of the opinion they would not get the services of the Board in that direction.

  • The Hitchin Road parents of eight children, aged from 18 months to 15 years, were warned at Luton Petty Sessions on Wednesday that could be sent to prison if their family life did not improve within six weeks. In the meantime the father was required to find work, his wife to give up drink and the children to be properly dressed and cared for. During the case brought by the N.S.P.C.C., it was stated that the children were ill-clothed (rags and bootless), dirty, swarming with insects, and had been turned out of school as a result. Their home was in a dirty state.

  • The Medical Officer's report for December showed 17 cases of infectious disease in Luton - eight of diphtheria, five of measles, two of typhoid and one each of ophthalmia and cerebro-spinal fever. Six diphtheria subjects were admitted to the Isolation Hospital, from which there had been 11 discharges and one death. Twelve cases of tuberculosis were reported. Councillor Merchant said at Tuesday's meeting of the Town Council that the figures were highly satisfactory and proved that Luton was a healthy town to live in.

  • An alarming mishap occurred on the Dunstable railway line on Tuesday night when Arthur Sharp, aged 17 from Houghton Regis, fell from a train. He was going home from work at Chaul End about 8pm and quickly got into a carriage which was full. He leaned, standing with his back to a door which was not properly fastened. The train was travelling at about 35 mph near Blow's Downs when the passengers were horrified to see the door swing open and the youth was naturally flung out on to the metal with great force. He was found lying unconscious on the metals, but miraculously escaped serious injury. He was taken to the Bute Hospital suffering from concussion but just a few scratches on his face.

  • Lutonian Mr John Payne, of 55 Biscot Road, recounted his experiences as a member of the London Ambulance Brigade who attended the aftermath of a devastating explosion at a munition works at Silvertown, West Ham, in which 73 people were killed, 400 injured and thousands left homeless. Three Luton soldiers based "somewhere near London" also told of their experiences as their billet was rocked by the blast.

  • Pte Bert King, R.A.M.C., eldest of 13 children of Mr and Mrs William King, of 60 Kenilworth Road, Luton, has won the Military Medal for devotion to duty under danger. The old boy of Dunstable Road and Waller Street schools, who was working for hat manufacturers Sanders and Brightman when he enlisted in November 1915, is now in Belgium working in a field hospital behind the lines.

  • At the end of what was described as the most grievous case of its kind to be heard by this or any other court, Capt Doria St Clair Bolton, aged 30 of the Royal Engineers based at Thiepval Houghton Regis, was at Dunstable Sessions on Tuesday fined a maximum £25 for cruelty to a cat. Witnesses said they saw the officer hold the cat by its tail at arm's length and shouting to his dog to seize it. When he realised he had been seen, the officer walked away, only to be seen minutes later swinging the cat round. The tortured cat was shortly afterwards found dead after being carried away in the dog's mouth. The officer, who was said by a police inspector to have behaved insolently towards him, had denied the offence, claiming he never touched the cat. The witnesses were commended for bringing the matter forward. [A Colonel was quick to distance the Royal Engineers from the case, pointing out in a letter elsewhere in the same edition that Capt St Clair Bolton did not belong to the R.E. but was only on attachment].