Diary: Praise for Commer vehicles at Front

Stories from The Luton News, Thursday February 11th, 1915.

It is pretty well known that the whole of the output of Commercial Cars Ltd [Biscot Road, Luton] has been commandeered by the War Department, and letters being received from the Front speak very highly as to the behaviour of the cars.Commercial Cars factory 1907

We have been favoured with copies of a number of communications received from drivers with the Expeditionary Force, and a few extracts will be interesting.

Driver R. W. Poole (3626), 67th Company, Section 2, A.S.C. (Mechanical Transport), with the Indian Contingent, says: "The work here is awfully interesting, especially the behaviour of the different cars under most awful road conditions. For heavy work the Commer has proved itself predominant. "He said three cars of another unnamed make that were more trouble than they were worth had been replaced with Commers.

Sgt Neston Holt, A.S.C. (Mechanical Transport), writes: "I had several Commer Cars in my charge when I left for France on August 9th, 1914. I think I have only lost one of your machines up to date, and that with a broken wheel. This machine I put in an hotel yard in Villiers Colleres, covered it with stable straw, and eventually recovered it when the Germans retired during the battle of the Aisne."

Pte J. H. Williams, 2739, 1st Section, No 1 A.P.M.T., wrote: "I have been driving one of your lorries ever since I came out here in August, and after doing close on 4,000 miles with it, I have just overhauled it and I must say all the bearings were in the pink of condition, and as it has been re-tyred all round it will be as good as new, in fact better as the bearings are all ground in."

[Picture: The Commerial Cars factory in 1907]

  • A military funeral attracted considerable attention in Luton on Monday morning by passing through the streets at the unusually early hour of 7 o'clock. Pte Herbert Ladlow, of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, who was only 17 years of age and died on Saturday at the Wardown Military Hospital, was being taken to his home at Louth for interment. The body was taken by train from the Great Northern Station, and to the station the deceased was given a military escort while a band played the "Dead March".

  • Gertrude M. Tabor, writing from The Larches, New Bedford Road, Luton, said he was collecting for and sending to each of the men of the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment at the Front a towel, a cake of soap and a khaki handkerchief, things which at present are most needed. Contributions to the appeal in money from 6d upwards or in kind would be gratefully received.

  • The Church Army hut in Francis Street, Luton, is continuing the useful work which was done by its predecessor, the Church Army tent, and for cosy comfort and general brightness this building is all that can be desired. It is increasingly popular with the troops, for whom in hundreds it has become a daily resort for games, music, reading and writing.

  • With a new influx of troops into Luton, the Adult Schools were attracting about 200 soldiers a night. Games facilities provided include a full-sized billiards table, two bagatelle tables, draughts, dominoes and chess boards, and packs of cards for whist. There was also a piano, reading matter, writing materials and a refreshment bar.

  • The following have been appointed second lieutenants in the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regt: Cpl E. S. Caton and Cpl H. C. Soundy, both from Beds Yeomanry, and Pte E. E. Colquhoun, from Inns of Court O.T.C. Mr A. F. Soames has been appointed a second lieutenant in the Beds Yeomanry.

  • Lady Wernher has offered to furnish two of the five spacious day rooms at the new King George Hospital for wounded soldiers in London. The cost of fully furnishing each room will be £230.

  • Great Northern Railway Stationmaster at Luton, Mr T. H. Few, wrote to Mr J. H. Scott, who was proposing to run a trip to Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket for relatives of Beds Regiment men stationed there, that the excursion could not be run on that day and had been deferred until a future unstated date.

  • A runaway horse caused excitement in Dunstable Road and Upper George Street on Tuesday evening. A rein broke as greengrocer Mr Parsons, of 2 Oxford Road, was driving his barrow near the Dunstable Road Workhouse. He was shaken off the waggon, hurting his arm as he fell, while the horse ran into Upper George Street, colliding with a barrow loaded with hats, struck the brick wall at the gateway at Christ Church and was brought to s stop after colliding with a Corporation cart. The horse was considerably injured.

  • Luton Board of Guardians heard a complaint that coal supplied to the Union Workhouse was "hardly good enough to get steam up from". The contractor admitted that, althoug the cold could be sold to other people at a higher price, but said he could supply fuel equal to what used to be provided, but at an extra 2s 6d a ton. It was agreed to accept the more expensive coal temporarily.

  • At their annual general meeting at Starke's Room, Market Hill, Luton, on Monday evening, the Sweet Pea and Rose Society decided to withdraw this year's annual show and to place the balance on deposit for future working.

  • In view of Shrove Tuesday, the following recipe for pancakes should be found useful. Take half a pound of flour, one teaspoonsful of Berwick's baking powder and a little salt, mix well in a dry state, add one egg and three-quarters of a pint of milk. Fry quickly over a brisk fire and serve immediately. Pancakes made according to these directions will turn out beautifully light and appetising.