June 25, 1914, Luton News

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With less than six weeks before the start of the First World War, which was to engulf entire nations and kill millions, life still carried on much as usual in Luton and the surrounding areas.

Religion was doing well in the town in 1914.

A report in the paper says “The enthusiasm of church people in Luton appears at the present time to be at a very high pitch.”

At a large meeting at Luton Town Hall, with more than 450 people present, there was talk of church extensions to the town.

The net profits of Luton Electric for the year was £1,657 it was revealed.

Two houses on Northall Road in Eaton Bray were badly damaged when they were struck by lightning during a storm. No-one was hurt.

A packed court heard the story of a man who was stabbed with a hat pin after intervening in a street brawl between two women.

William Gore, a hat blocker, was drinking at the Chequers Pub when he told Luton Crown Court that he heard a commotion outside in Park Street.

Mr Gore, who walked into court with bandages around his neck, said he saw Ethel Smith abusing another woman in front of a group of children. When he intervened she came at him with a hat pin and stabbed him in the neck. He was then attacked by another man as Miss Smith kicked him while he lay on the floor.

She was sent for trial.

The son of a director of Luton Town Football Club, believed to have drowned in the sinking of the Empress of Ireland, has been rescued.

Thomas Smart, son of George Smart, had been rescued from the ship after it sank in the St Lawrence River, Canada, on May 29, 1914 follwoing a collision with another ship.

Out of 1,477 passengers and crew aboard, 1,012 died, including 134 children.

For Mr Smart, a former mariner, the experience was not that ususual, the paper reported this was his third shipwreck!