War memorial unveiled 14 years before town hall

Luton War Memorial unveiling in 1922
Luton War Memorial unveiling in 1922

The Luton Peace Day Riots on July 19, 1919 have been well documented on our nostalgia pages on more than one occasion.

Luton Town Hall was burnt down by angry First World War servicemen who had a number of grievances, including unemployment.

Work finally started on a replacement town hall in 1930 and it took six years to complete.

But in 1922, the war memorial that stands in front of the building was unveiled at a ceremony attended by hundreds of people.

Built of Portland stone, the memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, is inscribed on four sides with the names of Luton’s 1,286 dead of the First World War.

Bronze panels were later added to commemorate those who died in the Second World War.

Above it is a podium decorated with the town’s coat of arms and wreaths.

On the podium is the 8ft- high bronze statue of ‘Peace’, sculpted by Sir Hamo Thorneycroft.

The statue carries a myrtle branch held aloft in her right hand and an angel holding a wreath in her left hand.