Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Two Luton Men Meet in France

The Estaminet by Haydn Reynolds Mackey (Wikimedia)

Thursday 21st January 1915: The Luton News has received a letter from two Luton Reservists who met while serving in France. Rifleman F. Anderson [1] is with the 1st Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and Sapper J. Robinson with the Royal Engineers. They write:
Though we have often had a rough time, both of us are still game. We hear that you have had floods in England but, according to the papers, our rainfall has been about four times as great as that in England. Still, despite a very muddy and wet time, we are endeavouring, not without success, to keep up the reputation for cheerfulness which the British soldier has earned. Robinson was enjoying a very well earned rest for a few hours, and had gone into an estaminet, or eating-house, to get a snack when Anderson’s head appeared in the doorway. Though Robinson had not seen him for years he immediately recognised an old pal and shouted out, “This isn’t Luton, not nearly so quiet and respectable” and they were soon chatting over old times, of how well Luton have played this year, of their hard lines in the Cup fight, and of how next year, or later on this year, when the English Army has entered Berlin, the boys of Luton, those who could not come out here, will bring the Cup to Luton. We hope, however, that by that time some of us who have not shirked our duty will be back to help them – having scored many times against the Germans. Hoping that all at Luton are as well as possible in this very trying weather. We are proud to be natives of a town which has been so very loyal and has sent so many of her citizens to answer the call of their country.
Luton News 21st January 1915

[1] Rifleman Anderson survived the war. His medal card shows that he served in the Rifle Brigade, the Labour Corps and the Royal Army Service Corps. Unfortunately it does not give a first name which would make it possible to identify him. 

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