Luton News staff reunion after war

Event date

21st March 1919


Entity info.
Luton News staff

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: March 22nd, 1919]

Last night was a great night for the staff of The Luton News, when the whole of the employees, with the wives of the married members, were guests of the firm at dinner. The event was held by courtesy of the Mayor in the Council Chamber and was in the character of a reunion.

The last gathering of the kind was held in April 1914, when the anniversary of the firm's present buildings was celebrated, but the outbreak of war later in the year has prevented any repetition until now.

At varying stages of the great European campaign, no fewer than 22 employees metaphorically dropped the pen (or its equivalent in the department of the works with which they were associated) for the sword, but the firm and their colleagues are happy today in the knowledge that the major portion have now resumed their former positions on the staff, and it was signalise this happy state of affairs that last night's gathering was arranged.

From start at 6.30pm until finish, just past the witching hour at midnight, there was not a dull moment. Speeches – sometimes regarded as a necessary evil – were commendably brief and generally of the happy type.

Mr A. A. Gibbs was in the chair, supported immediately by Mr G. S. Myers, Mrs Myers, Mrs Gibbs, Miss Myers, Mr R. A. Gibbs (RAF) and Miss Gibbs, while also seated at the main table were Chief Constable Griffin and Mrs Griffin. Mr J. Bamforth was unavoidably prevented from attending.

The various departmental tables were presided over by Mr A. Tofield (advertising), Mr A. F. Pope (chief reporter), Mr E. Archer (composing room overseer) and Mr J. H. Willett (overseer of the commercial printing department).

The programme for the evening was a charming souvenir, including portraits (reproduced above) of all of the men from the firm who had served in the forces, including five whose loss by death is sincerely deplored – these being L-Cpl J. H. Healey MM, Sherwood Foresters (France, July 17th, 1918); Pte G. Soffe, Essex Regiment (France, April 11th, 1917); Leading Seaman V. Bennett, RNVR (lost in the Hampshire, June 5th, 1916); Pte H. Berry, Bedfordshire Regiment (Gallipoli, August 15th, 1915); and Pte C. Long, Lincolnshire Regiment (France, September 29th, 1918).

Luton News staff

Author: Deejaya

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