The centre panel of this war memorial, originally located at the Luton Works of George Kent, records the names of members of the firm who lost their lives in the Great War either in the armed services or in explosions caused by the manufacture of armaments. The side panels unusually record the members of the firm who served in the armed forces and survived.
George Kent Ltd, meter manufacturers opened premises in Luton in 1908 and by 1914 employed 450 male workers. Within a few days of the outbreak of war they offered to assist the government in the production of armaments. By 1918 they had 8000 mostly female employees on two sites and were producing 140,000 shell fuses per week.
This cup was presented to South Beds Golf Club in 1916 by officers from the Artillery Training School at Biscot Camp in appreciation for the facilities offered to them by the Club. During the war, the Galley Hill area of the course was used as a rifle range on weekdays which led to the suspension of competitions, although social golf continued at the weekends including, for the first time, Sunday golf and weekend golf for ladies. The officers in charge of the camp were given the freedom of the course and made honorary members of the Club.
Hitchin Road Boys' School was created in 1883 by the Luton School Board. The memorial lists the names of one master and seventy four old boys "who fell in the First World War". When the school closed in 1967 it was donated to Luton Museum Service and is now on display at Stockwood Discovery Centre.
Sending, receiving and collecting picture postcards was very popular in the Great War. Many soldiers on active service on the Western Front would buy postcards in local shops as souvenirs or to send home to loved ones. The subject matter was usually romantic and sentimental.
These examples were lent to the project by a member of the Horsler family whose ancestors' WW1 story is told here.
During the Great War, sending, receiving and collecting picture postcards was hugely popular. Many commercial outlets produced postcards with patriotic messages. Images of soldiers and their families with sentimental verses were also common. These cards were eagerly bought by the public to send to relatives on active service.