More beds for soldiers at Wardown Hospital

Digest of stories from The Luton News: Thursday, May 9th, 1918.

Wardown Hospital soldier patients and staff

Luton Town Council's Park Committee reported receiving Mr F. W. Plummer and Councillor Hubbard as a deputation from the Wardown V.A.D. Hospital Committee with respect to a request made to the hospital to provide accommodation for a further 20 wounded and discharged soldiers.

To accomplish this, additional room would be required, and the hospital authorities wished to avoid the delay and expense which would be entailed by the erection of an annexe. Councillor Impey, the Chairman of the Parks Committee, had suggested that arrangements should be made to provide the wife and children of the caretaker with a home in the town rent free, so as to release the rooms they occupy for hospital purposes. The Committee recommended the Chairman, Borough Engineer and Parks Superintendent should make the necessary arrangements.

Moving the adoption of the report on Tuesday night, Councillor Impey referred to the fact that the caretaker himself was in the Army and had been wounded. He added that they had been able to meet the wishes of the deputation, and the caretaker's family would be removed and returned to Wardown free of expense when the premises were no longer required by the hospital.

Councillor Hubbard thanked the Committee and the Council on behalf of the Hospital for the expeditious manner in which their request had been met. It would interest the Council to know gthat there were come very seriously wounded men, some had lost an eye, and arm or a leg, and others with badly suppurating wounds occupying beds in London hospital while on the way to convalescence.

The action of the Council would now enable some of them to be removed to Wardown, and it would be much appreciated by the soldiers there, for Wardown seemed almost like heaven to some of them after their experiences.

  • There was a large gathering of women workers in the Council Chamber of the Luton Town Hall on Thursday evening when addresses were given by Lady Cowen, Mrs Prothero and Miss Thompson, and a local branch of the National Union of Women Workers of Great Britain and Ireland was formed. Lady Cowen said the Union welcomed the worker with the brain as well as the worker with the hands. They were non-party and welcomed equally woman of all shades of political opinion, and those with no political views at all. Officers appointed provisionally until an annual meeting was held were: President, the Mayoress (Mrs Dillingham); Vice-President, Mrs Keens; Hon Secretary, Mrs Ebbs; Assistant Hon Secretary, Miss Forman; Hon Treasurer, Mrs Fletcher.

  • Owing to other calls upon her time, Mrs G. E. M. Walker, who has been Hon Secretary of the Luton Women's Unionist War Working Party ever since its inception on August 10th, 1914, has felt obliged to resign her position. At the last meeting she was presented with a large hammered English pewter fern bowl as a mark of appreciation of her work.

  • Cpl C. H. Hanson (Royal Field Artillery) had a nasty accident while riding a restive horse at Biscot yesterday. It reared, threw him off and galloped over him, bruising his back and ribs. He was taken to the Bute Hospital, where his injuries, which turned out to be not serious, are being treated.

  • Yesterday's post brought welcome news to Mrs Clark, of 132 Wenlock Street, Luton. After being in anxiety concerning her missing husband since March 21st, she received a card from him saying he was a prisoner at Limburg in Germany, but quite well. Pte Josiah Clark (Staffordshire Regiment) was formerly a Luton Corporation labourer.

  • Mrs Allen, of 5 Pondwicks Road, Luton, has had official news that he husband, Pte C. H. Allen (Essex Regiment), has been missing since March 28th. [Pte Allen was later confirmed to be a prisoner of war in Germany.]

  • Yesterday morning at King Street Congregational Church, Miss Dorothy M. White, daughter of Mr and Mrs H. White, of New Bedford Road, was married by the Rev E. B. Mahon to Mr Frederick S. Booth, son of Mr A. F. Booth, the well-known hat manufacturer. The bridegroom was one of the earliest volunteers in the war and saw active service with the London Regiment in France. He was badly wounded and subsequently discharged.

  • An application was received by Luton Town Council from the 'N.T.F.' Committee to hold a concert at Wardown Park on White Sunday or Whit Monday in aid of their Prisoners of War Fund. They pointed out that by a donation of £50 this week they had now contributed in 22 months a sum of £726 and were desirous of realising a total of £1,000 by the end of the second year. Councillor Primett said there had been 16 prisoners added during the last few days and the Prisoners of War Fund would need replenishing more than in the past. The application for use of the park was unanimously agreed.

  • Prisoners of war: Pte Horace William Kilby (East Surrey Regiment), 11 Salisbury Road, Luton; Cpl Henry William Draper (South African Infantry), Lutonian living in South Africa; Sgt Walter Gore (Herts Regiment), 10 Langley Place, Luton; Pte Lionel Bird (Machine Gun Corps), 43 Arthur Street, Luton.

  • Roll of honour:Pte Ralph Crawley (Royal Fusiliers), 201 High Town Road, Luton; Pte James Charles Bent (West Yorkshire Regiment), 135 North Street, Luton.

  • A month ago Mr and Mrs William Biggs, of 23 Vicarage Street, Luton, were officially notified that their only son, Pte Arthur William Biggs (Essex Regiment) was wounded on March 22nd. this was the extent of the information, for the form did not even say that he had been admitted to hospital, but was accompanied by a notice stating that no further information was to hand. [Pte Biggs is recorded as having been killed in action on March 21st, 1918.]

  • The wife of Pte S. G. Gutteridge (Beds Regiment), of Mangrove, has received the news that her husband was wounded on March 28th, and is now at Chichester Military Hospital with wounds in the head, right hand and arm.

  • Mr Albert Tompkins, of Crutchmore Farm, Mangrove, has been officially informed that his son, Pte Albert Joseph Tompkins (Oxford and Buck Light Infantry) was officially reported missing from March 21st. [Pte Tompkins was killed in action near Arras on that date.]

  • The park keepers have complained to police of boys throwing stones in the park, and on May 1st Pc Frost caught a number of boys on the bridge over the lake throwing stones at a boat passing underneath. The boys, who work at Messrs Lye's dyeworks, were in the park during the dinner hour. They said they were splashing some boys who had done the same to them the previous day. Five boys, all from Stopsley, were fined five shillings each.

  • The Rev Harold J. W. Knights, who was curate at Christ Church, Luton, from 1907 to 1912, is now a chaplain with the Forces in the Holy Land, where so many Luton men are serving with the Bedfordshire Regiment.

  • An alarming accident occurred in Cheapside about 4pm on Saturday. A horse attached to a horse-breaking gig owned by Mr Albert Saunders, of Round Green, took fright at a passing motor car belonging to the Steam Laundry Co. It reared up on the footwalk and put one of its forelegs through the window of Messrs Blundell Bros' warehouse on the opposite side to the firm's shop, smashing a plate glass window. The animal was slightly injured by broken glass.

  • Sunday last being Rogation Sunday, a service for the blessing of the crops was held in the Stockingstone allotment field by the Vicar of Stopsley (Rev Shorting), assisted by Mr A. Monger, the licensed lay reader of St John's Mission Church, Round Green, and the choir boys from Stopsley and Round Green all being robed. There were a good number of allotment holders present, with their wives and friends.

  • On Saturday afternoon, in the presence of a large number of people, Archdeacon Kenneth Gibbs, of St Albans, dedicated a lych gate at St Mary's Church, Offley, the same having been erected by the members of the family of the late Colonel and Mrs Gosling.

  • The managers of Caddington Group of County Council Schools met at Luton Unions House on Monday evening. A letter of complaint was read from Mr H. T. Smith, caretaker of Norton Road School, Leagrave, saying he was sorry the County Council could not allow him any grant for cleaning materials, as his wages "were not too much". The school was in a very dirty condition when he took over the duties, and the only tools left were "one pail with a hole in the bottom and an old scrubbing brush". The Chairman (Mr W. T. Lye) explained that the County Council had definitely refused to make a grant for cleaning materials, and they could do nothing further.

  • The sequel to the using of a motor car at a local wedding last Thursday was heard at the Luton Borough Court yesterday. Mr J. W. Green, of The Larches, New Bedford Road was summoned using gas for his car contrary to the restriction order, and also with not having obtained a gas permit. Me Green held that a public duty was being performed to carry Mrs Green and her daughter from Wardown Hospital, where they were busy, leaving at the last possible moment and returning to duty again as early as possible. the summons for using the car was dismissed on payment of costs, and a fine of 10 shillings imposed on the second charge.

  • Mr Charles Green, Secretary of the Luton Town Football Club, received at the beginning of the week a letter from Gunner Ernest Simms, the Town centre-forward, who has been serving in Italy, stating that he expects shortly to be in England. In a short letter he said he had undergone an operation on his hip. It would leave him a bit weak for a time, but a load had been lifted from his mind by the advice that it will eventually be all right. Mrs Simms has since received a message stating that her husband has arrived at Shrewsbury Hospital, and that the operation was necessary owing to an abscess forming as the result of an accident.