Two die in munition works accident

Event date

8th January 1917



The Luton News , 11th January 1917

Source Date

1917-01-11 00:00:00
Entity info.
Chaul End works 1933
  • Chaul End works in 1933


Two men died and a third was badly injured as the result of an accident at the Chaul End munition works of George Kent Ltd on Monday, January 8th,1917.

The victims were labourer Horace John William Crump, of 90 Ash Road, Luton, a married man with several children, and Herbert Andrews, aged 17½, from Cold Harbour, Harpenden. The injured employee was Harry Rowe, also 17, of Luton Road, Toddington.

The accident occurred at about 11 am. The men were at once taken to the works hospital, where first aid treatment was administered pending the arrival of Dr Lloyd. All three operatives were placed in motor ambulances and conveyed with all possible speed to the Bute Hospital, Luton.

Herbert Andrews succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital, while Horace Crump passed away some hours after admittance to the Bute.

An inquest was opened and adjourned by Coroner Mr G. J. M. Whyley on the following Wednesday afternoon at the Court House in Luton. Mr Whyley explained that he proposed only to take evidence of identification and the inquest would be adjourned until Harry Rowe could, if possible, be present, hopefully in about 10 days. The Inspector of Factories also had to be notified.

Mr Arnold G. Hansard, the manager of the works, said he would like to express the deep sympathy of the directors and himself with the bereaved relatives. They very deeply regretted that such an accident should have occurred, resulting unhappily in the deaths of two men. They were glad the third man had not been so seriously injured.

The accident was not one of those terrifying affairs sometimes read about, but unfortunately it was very violent and disastrous, as far as the men were concerned. The two men close by received such injuries that they could not possible survive, but he was very glad to be able to say that he believed Harry Rowe, although badly injured, would not have any serious effect when he got over his injuries.

Mrs Ada Elizabeth Crump, of 90 Ash Road, gave evidence of identification respecting her husband, who was aged 45 and a labourer. She said she saw him just before his death at the Bute Hospital at 5.25 on the Monday afternoon.

Olive Andrews, of Cold Harbour, Harpenden, identified her brother, who had resided with her. She last saw him alive at about 11 o'clock on the Monday morning and later saw him at the hospital after he had succumbed to his injuries.

[The Luton News, January 11th, 1917, and The Luton Reporter, January 15th, 1917]


Family history websites show that Horace Crump was born and bred in Caddington. He was born in October 1871 and married Ada Elizabeth Lowe in July 1896. They had four sons and three daughters. He is commemorated on the Caddington War Memorial and is buried in Caddington churchyard. Alice continued to live at 90 Ash Road until her death in April 1960.

Herbert Andrews was one of four sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Andrews, of Harpenden. He was born of June 29th, 1899. The company paid £50 compensation to mother Elizabeth Andrews for her loss.

Harry Rowe was born in Toddington on December 22nd, 1899. He later did military service before being demobilised in November 1919 and received the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He married Alice Neale in 1926 and died in 1968.


Slideshow below: Remnants of the Chaul End munition works in 1933, Horace Crump (photo courtesy of grandson Alan Moore), Caddington War Memorial names.


Event Place

Author: Deejaya

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