Luton crowded with soldiers

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A leader column in the Luton News 100 years ago today perhaps gives a voice to how people viewed the First World War in its early days.

The accepted view was that itwould be all over by Christmas, and less than a month after war had been declared the paper in its leader is warning readers that an increased lack of advertising in what is usually a quiet month has led to fewer news pages.

“We could of course fill up with war news but in these days of half price daily papers dealing with general affairs of the day, the provincial papers should deal with local news,” it states.

“In September we expect a revival of trade locally and the public bodies will reconvene,” it adds hopefully.

Luton Guardians reported only one request for assistance from the Princes Trust set up to help the dependants of men who were going to war, and this was from a mother dependant on her married son.

But Mr Yarrow reported of a Dunstable woman with three children who was faring badly after her husband was called up as a reservist.

The chairman said she should apply through the proper channels and the fund could then be of some help.

Luton is now not so full of territorial visitors for some thousands marched out during the week to fresh quarters in Harpenden, the paper reported.

But there were still quite sufficient for the streets to seem very crowded in the evening!

Philanthropy was alive and well as a laundry services committee has been formed to deal with the washing of the undercloths of the territorial army stationed in Luton with the Mayoress as president of the committee.

But a fear of foreigners was also rising. Karl Klug, aged 22, was sentenced to three months hard labour by Luton magistrates for travelling a distance of more than five miles from his registered address, contrary to the Aliens Restriction Order. He travelled by train from Luton to Bedford.