Luton WW1 diary: October 1st, 1914

Stories from The Luton News: Thursday, October 1st, 1914

Luton News Masthead

Lord Kitchener came to Luton Hoo on Tuesday and inspected the bulk of the North Midland Division, under the command of Major General the Hon E.J. Montagu Stuart-Wortley CB, CMG, MVO, DSO. Unlike the occasion a fortnight ago when His Majesty the King came to Luton Hoo to inspect a body of troops, not nearly as large as that parading on Tuesday, the weather was glorious for such an event.

Outside the London Road entrance to the Park quite a large number of people assembled to witness Lord Kitchener's arrival, but his car went in so quickly that they did not have much reward for their patience. The polo ground was again in use, but on this occasion the troops also occupied the large field adjoining, and which will be remembered by Luton people as the scene of the Yeomanry camp in the summer.

On his arrival Lord Kitchener was received with a general salute. He then walked along the infantry line and saw one brigade march past; moved on to the mounted troops to walk down the lines and witness a trot past of the brigade of Royal Field Artillery; and then saw a yeomanry exercise in which they made a quick advance across country, ending in dismounting and occupying a position. It is understood Lord Kitchener was well satisfied with what he saw.

  • The decision arrived at by the Licensing Justices last week to very considerably restrict the hours during which licensed premises and clubs might be open caused considerable dissatisfaction. Previously it had been decided that Territorials should not be served before midday or after 9.30 pm. At their meeting last week the justices made an order that as from Monday in this week the sale of intoxicants should only be permitted between 8 am and 9 pm and that from 9 pm to 8 am all public houses, off-licences and registered clubs should remain closed. A new order has now been issued in which the restrictions are very considerably modified. At a meeting of the licensing justices yesterday morning, we understand that the decision arrived at was that the sale of intoxicants should be permitted until 9.30 each evening, that the hour of opening should be as formerly, if licensee desire to open as early as 6 am, and that between 9.30 pm and 6 am only the sale of intoxicants shall be prohibited, it being permissible for clubs and even public houses to remain open after that hour, provided that no sale of intoxicants takes place.The Licensed Victuallers Association asked the magistrates to allow licensed houses to remain open for the sale of intoxicating liquors until 10 pm and then close entirely.

  • While speaking in praise of the number who had already come forward in Luton to enlist, the Mayor (Councillor W.J. Primett) spoke strongly at a recruiting meeting outside the Corn Exchange on Thursday evening of others who he thought ought to enlist and were "skulking in office and shops" rather than shouldering their burden in the day of crisis. Nevertheless, he described the gathering as one of the finest he had seen in Luton, although there were still 300 or 400 men needed.

  • On Monday the Luton companies of the new 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regt, were inspected by Lieut-Col Carruthers and Mr H. Inwards, secretary of the Luton Recruiting Committee. The training is carried on principally at the old Skating Rink in Park Street and at Stockwood Park, with occasional marches. On Tuesday Lieut-Col the hon Victor Russel, commanding the new battalion, saw the men at their drill both at the Rink and Stockwood Park.

  • For the benefit of those who sought to join the battalion but were rejected as they just failed to satisfy the requirements in regard to chest measurement, a physical exercise class has been arranged, and the first meeting took place at the Rink last evening. Mr J. H. King, a first-class athlete, is taking charge of this class. A fortnight or so should see a number of them fit to pass the doctor.

  • About 500 women - wives, sweethearts and other friends of the Lincoln Territorials in training here - came to Luton on Thursday by an excursion from different parts of Lincolnshire. They arrived at the Great Northern Station at 3 pm and left again at 11 pm. There was another big excursion yesterday.

  • A number of soldiers who were wounded by shrapnel at the Battle of Mons and now recuperating at Lord Lucas's mansion at Wrest Park, Silsoe, were brought to Luton in three private motor cars on Saturday to attend the South-Eastern League football match between Luton Reserves and Gillingham Reserves which ended 1-1 (Luton beat Gillingham 4-2 at Gillingham in a first team match). Asked what war was like, one of the soldiers replied: "There is only one word - hell."

  • We learn that Major-General the Hon Stuart-Wortley has agreed to the request of the Mayor to allow the troops in Luton to take part in a review at the Hoo on Wednesday, October 14th. The general public will be admitted at a small charge, the object of this to benefit the Mayor's Fund for the Prince of Wales Fund.

  • Corporal Edgar Slough, a son of Mr Alfred E. Slough, of 2 Conway Road (Inspector of Weights and Measures for the Borough of Luton), is one of the brave British Army who bore the brunt of the German rush on Paris. A corporal in the Lancashire Fusiliers, he arrived in the war area soon after the battle of Mons and was not long afterwards in the thick of it.

  • The name of Pte E. Vale, 8757 Bedfordshire Regt, appeared among the list of wounded of the Expeditionary Force, issued by the Press Bureau on Friday night.

  • Hon Lieut and Hon Victor A. F. W. Russell (late Captain, 3rd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regt) to be temporary Lieut-Colonel, September 26th - from the London Gazette.

  • Mr W. E. Holyoak, son of Mr W. G. Holyoak, of Luton, has joined the Northants Yeomanry.

  • Mr Rex Cumberland Green is joining the Bedfordshire Special Reserve. This is the third son of Mr J. W. Green who is serving his country.

  • In brilliant sunshine on Sunday morning the men of the Leicestershire and Lincolnshire Regiments paraded at Wardown for a drumhead service, and there was also a good attendance of the general public. The men in khaki marched into the park in excellent order and quickly got into the positions for the service at 10.30. Many recruits without uniform but wearing brown jerseys were included in the troops.

  • A soup kitchen was in operation on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights, it was reported at a meeting Luton Education Committee. Everyone who had a ticket received a quart of soup each, and those without a ticket a pint. Some 150 loaves were also given away.

  • Luton Modern School was hoping to reclaim £100 to cover repairs following occupation of the school by Territorials. The headmaster said he had written to the adjutant a week earlier but received no reply. A meeting of school governors was told that 16 officers and 400 men of one battalion had been expected to be billeted at the school, but the whole of another battalion arrived instead.

  • Lance-Corporal Welch (5051), King's Royal Rifles, who left Luton to re-join his regiment at the outbreak of war, and went to France with the first Army Corps, is now in the Charing Cross Hospital, with a badly damaged left arm. Lance-Corporal Welch had been on the Reserve for nearly eight years, and during the whole of that time worked at Vauxhall and West Hydraulic Engineering Company's works at Kimpton Road, Luton. The Rifles were at Mons and from there had to fall back to within 15 miles of Paris. He got two wounds in the left arm in one day, one from a bullet and one from shrapnel, in the Battle of Aisne.

  • Six employees of the CWS Cocoa Works who enlisted in the 5th Beds Regiment at Bedford were R. Bass, W. Arnold, P. Webdale, P. Impey, E. Richardson and S. Turner. A total of 21 CWS workers had now enlisted.

  • Shortly after midnight on Sunday a number of horses belonging to B Squadron of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, stationed at Houghton Regis, stampeded from a field adjoining Poynter's Farm, and rushed madly though High Street. Most of them took the road leading to the Icknield Way, but a number galloped to Luton along Dunstable Road and through different streets of the town. Members of the Yeomanry on mounted police duty rounded up the frightened animals, but two horses were so injured that they had to be shot.

  • The case of being drunk and disorderly in George Street against a Luton soldier wounded in the shoulder at the Battle of Mons and just out of hospital back in England was dismissed by magistrates. The defendant was told that the bench was proud of men like him who went out to fight for their country but he must not let the Tuesday evening incident happen again.

  • Yesterday afternoon the Rev G. H. C. Shorting, the new vicar of St Thomas, Stopsley, was formally licensed to the perpetual curacy and titular vicarage of Stopsley by the Bishop of St Albans.

  • The following have enlisted at Park Street, Luton, for the Regular Army or the Special Reserve: Percy Batchelor, George Boxford, James Britten, William Harold Holdsworth, Thomas Kenny, Arthur Rolt, Arthur Sampson, Alfred Underwood.