Thursday, 18 December 2014

We Want More Troops!

Novelty Postcard 1914-1918 [Z1130/36/1]

Friday 18th December 1914:  At a meeting of Dunstable Borough Council today Councillor Timms proposed the following resolution:
“That this Council communicate with the War Office enquiring why troops have ceased to be billeted in this borough – whether for military movements or for other reasons – and send a copy of the Dunstable Borough Gazette showing by its Roll of Honour that Dunstablians have been doing their part for the country’s welfare, and respectfully suggesting to the War Office that the town should not be neglected, as the tradesmen and other inhabitants consider the billeting of the troops a great boon to the district. And that the Council be called together immediately on receipt of the reply.”
Councillor Timms produced figures showing how much the town had lost since the billeting of troops in Dunstable had stopped. He wanted to know who was preventing the troops coming as many people in the town were living on the poverty line and would have benefited greatly from the prescence of troops.

The Mayor had issued a poster signed by himself and by Alderman Gutteridge without consulting the council. This had led to the spread of rumours in the town. The Mayor said that he took full responsibility, that the circular was issued because he feared a riot, and that if it was felt he was done wrong he would submit to a vote of censure. He then read a letter from Lieutenant-General Codrington stating that the troops had been withdrawn entirely for military reasons. Alderman Gutteridge expressed sympathy with Councillor Timms and stated that an interview between himself and Major Davis was on private business. He himself had had nothing to do in any way with troops not coming to the town.

Councillor Dales said he had been told that somebody had written to the War Office saying the town was insanitary. The Town Clerk admitted that a War Office inspector had been to Dunstable and spoken to the Medical Officer regarding sanitary conditions, but said the inspector had been entirely satisfied. Almost all Councillors agreed with Councillor Timms’ opinions, but an amended resolution was passed under which the Council was to communicate with the War Office endorsing the Mayor’s efforts to secure the billeting of troops at Dunstable and hoping that a larger contingent of troops would soon be sent to the Borough, “one of the most bracing and healthy in the country”. 

Source: Luton News 24th December 1914

No comments:

Post a Comment