DS&S propose Wardown memorial service

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph and Luton Reporter: May 27th, 1919]

There was a large attendance of members at the general meeting of the Discharged Sailors' and Soldiers' Federation on Saturday afternoon (May 24th, 1919) at the headquarters in Park Street.

It was reported that a committee had been in communication with the Mayor and Town Clerk with regard to what part the discharged soldiers are to have in the forthcoming peace celebrations.

The Federation considered they should have a big say in matters of this description; that the men who got the peace should be allowed to take a prominent part in it.

Secretary Mr H. C. Cooper said they were anxious to get the celebrations split into two days, so that discharged, demobilised and serving men could have a special day allotted them. The Town Clerk had intimated that the Peace Celebrations Committee were willing to increase representation in the procession, and asked the DS&S and Comrades of the Great War to each submit 75 names instead of 24 originally suggested, but they did not feel able to agree to any of the other suggestions made, as their means were limited. Dissatisfaction was expressed with the decision.

Mr Parkinson proposed that a memorial service for fallen soldiers and sailors be held at Wardown on Sunday, August 3rd. He considered it was due to those who had given their lives for the country that every effort should be made to make this service a representative one, and he felt sure the authorities would give them every assistance.

The proposition was carried, and it was decided to ask the choirs and bands of the town for help in the matter.


[Pending the armistice signing, no date had at that stage been set by the Government for Peace Day to be celebrated nationally, but with an assumption among many that it would probably coincide with both the August holidays and the anniversary of the declaration of war. By the time in early July that the DS&S applied for and were then refused permission to use Wardown for a July 20th memorial service, the local DS&S had already decided to take no part whatsoever in any officially organised celebrations, in line with a decision taken at national level in June.]