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#26 delta

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 11:44 PM

The Willies
C Bn HS MGC Concert Party 1917

1. Opening: The Willies
2. Song: Long Long Trail
3. Duet: Staccato Melody (Lt Franklin and Cpl Holden)
4. Song: Blow Blow Wintry Wind (Cpl Findlay)
5. Trio: Out in the Open (Sgt E Davidson, Cpls Vyvyan and Holden)
6. Recitation: Gunga Din (Lt AE Elsbury)
7. Song: The Modest Curate (Lt EL Purdy)
8. Song: Lowland Seas (Sgt Davidson)
9. Song. Inventive Johnny (Cpl Vyvyan)
10. Concerted Sketch Water Scenes (Lt AE Elsbury and the Willies)

11. Piano Solo (Gnr Jones)
12 Conjuring (Capt Walker)
13. Song: Cassidy (Lt Franklin)
14. Act: Performing Apes (Signor Spagetti Kaiserolis and Littlewilliesana)
15. Song: Take me back to Blighty (Cpl Holden)
16. Song; She is far from the land (Cpl Findlay)
17. Song: Far far away (Lt EL Purdy)
18. Song: I hear you calling me
19. Song: Oi Oi vat a game (Cpl Vyvyan)
20. Sketch: The art of songwriting (Sgt Davidson)

Cast:

Capt Archie Holford-Walker No 4 Section Commander; also commanded crew C19 in “Clan Leslie”
Lt Ball
Lt Arthur Elsbury 7th Londons then Tank Corps – entered France 8th Oct 1916; awarded MC for action at Villers-
Bretonneaux on 24th April 1918 when commanding whippets; settled in South Africa.
Lt Franklin
Lt Eric Purdy Commanded crew C16 in “Corunna”
Sgt E Davidson possibly Sgt Eric Davidson; Gnr RFA and later 205461 Tank Corps
Cpl Findlay possibly Cpl Francis Findlay; Gnr RGA and later 200496 Tank Corps
Cpl Holden
Cpl Vyvyan 2ic of crew C6 in “Cordon Rouge”
Gnr Jones

Those shown with tank crew numbers were in the first Tank action - see http://www.firsttankcrews.com/
for more details.

Stephen

#27 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 03:24 PM

QUOTE (Kate Wills @ Jan 11 2010, 12:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The K Lotteries is a very interesting name, and a new party to me. Do you know which one is Kathleen, and what she did?

I wonder where the the band came from.

If you ever fancy going digging in your mum's house, I would be very interested to have more info, especially as I don't have many examples of women's concert parties.


Kate - I will go digging around when I am next down at my mum's... which will be in March at the earliest! I will also ask my mum and uncle what they can remember about the K Lotteries. My great aunt role in the QMAAC was as a secretary in part of HQ transport somewhere in France I think!!!?! The details are again at my mum's house!

cheers
Rosemary

#28 Grantowi

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:29 PM

Kate,

Are you after civillan artists who went to France to entertain the troops as well ?

Grant

#29 Ian Riley

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:59 PM

Kate,

Do you have the Kinky Roos of the Liverpool Scottish with Basil Rathbone and James Dale (Dr Jim Dale of Mrs Dale's Diary - James Dale was his real name). The name sounds a bit 'luvvy' but based on Quinque Rue

There will be more detail elsewhere that I can trawl up.

Somewhere I have a cinema (or theatre) programme with the BEF with the name of xxxxx Friese Green (London Scottish) as the electrician (I presume of the cinema family)

Ian

#30 Kate Wills

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 12:32 AM

Rosemary,

Many thanks to you and your Mum. Enjoy your get-together.


Grant,

Yes, I'm interested in anyone who entertained in WW1. I have a seperate file on Lena Ashwell's artistes, and others who did their bit too.


Ian,

I have the Kinky Roos on the concert party files as belonging to the 10th KLR, and the two you mention are the only names I have associated with them.

The programme sounds very interesting, and I would love to see a copy if that is possible. The London Scottish had an active theatrical troupe prior to the war which gave performances in top London theatres.

#31 Doc2

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:52 AM

On the French side, similar entertainments were provided through the "foyers des soldats", which were sort of soldiers' service clubs, often associated with the YMCA. One MME Morisse seems to have run one show called "visions de guerre", in which Marie Marvingt played a role as "La France en Armes". Sorry, but I have no more information on this, and am actively searching for more..... If you have anything on this show, I'd appreciate it.
Doc

#32 Kate Wills

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 12:21 PM

Hi Doc,

I assume MME is Madame Morisse? The YMCA organised many recreational facilities at the front for British forces Music & Entertainment thread, and I imagine a similar situation existed in other forces too.

La France en Armes sounds as if it involved some sort of tableaux.


PS I've just Googled Marie Marvingt. What an interesting lady! I'm surprised this is the first time she has been mentioned on the Forum.

#33 Grantowi

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:51 PM

Kate,

Do you have Emily Pickford, Vincent Taylor and Jean Nolan in your file?

Came across a bit in the local rag about the first two drowning in the river Somme after leaving Guoy camp.
Their car skidded off the road and into the river, Jean Nolan was pulled out by a soldier

Grant

#34 Kate Wills

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:45 PM

Grant

I'b be interested to see that report. Which newspaper? The accident happened on 7 Feb 1919 in the Somme estuary near St Valery, where the car swerved off the road and into the river. The party's ventriloquist Tom Burrows saved Jean Nolan's life. Vincent Taylor was a tenor who had been turned down for military service on medical grounds. Emily Pickford was a singer from Cardiff who left a widower.

The Jugglers & Circus People thread has an interesting entry at post 32

#35 Grantowi

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 04:40 PM

Kate,

Its in the Swindon Evening Advertiser dated 15th Feb 1919,
Says they were returning to Abbeyville, where the company had its HQ

Lists Mme Emily Pickford as an "Elocutionist" (is that a singer ?), Mr Vincent Taylor as a baritone of 97 Crouch hill , London and Miss Jean Nolan as a soprano. It was the first time in France for Nolan and Taylor.

It also says that Nolan was rescued by a soldier, not by Burrows
In a letter from Tom Burrows (who was in charge of the party) to Pickfords Husband in Penarth it says:

" Mr Taylor, Mme Pickford and Miss Nolan got into one car and Miss Shirley, Miss Napier and Miss Young got into another. I was about to jump in, when I heard the other car start and to my horror saw it slide over the icy bank into the Somme. I heard Mr Taylor call "Help me: I cannot swim".
I got nearer to the edge of the water, where I saw Miss Nolan almost exhausted, fortunatly a soldier who had jumped into the water assisted her to the bank. Mme Pickford was never heard or seen again, and Mr Taylor was lost from view after his pathetic appeal for help"

Not my area, but as I was scrolling the paper, I remembered that someone was doing concert parties and thought it might be of interest to them.
If you PM me your Email, I'll send you the copy (not very clear, mind)

Grant



#36 Doc2

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:41 AM

Kate, yes you are correct that MME is "Madame". The "Visions de Guerre" does seem to have been some kind of acted tableau. Photos I have show individuals in uniforms from throughout history, along with historical figures and "patriotic" figures. Marie Marvingt was pictured dressed as the French National symbol Marianne, complete with sword and helmet. Doc

#37 Grantowi

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:07 PM

Kate,

Email with attached article sent

Grant

#38 Canadawwi

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:29 PM

Costume of Sergeant Major R.H. Holmes, a military physiotherapist who performed with the Khaki Follies troupe at the Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto. Link to image:

Virtual Exhibit of Khaki Follies Costume

A newspaper article (publ. Nov. 21, 1917 in the Toronto Star) mentions a performance of the Khaki Follies in Toronto. Holmes name is listed as part of this troupe:
Attached File  Khaki_Follies_no21.17.jpg   61.5KB   0 downloads

Of the cast members mentioned, I've checked against the online attestations. I could not locate Saunders, Holmes, Hill, or Sutherland.

Brymer is David Brymer, 192187 - Attestation.

#39 Simon Birch

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE (Kate Wills @ Dec 22 2009, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My concert party database has been established for several years, and now, after some experimentation, I have now created a database of performers, the criteria being anyone in uniform who entertained their fellow servicemen, or assisted the war effort in this capacity, such as singing in charity concerts at home. The first 1023 are now entered, so I have a battalion’s worth (I suppose I could call them my own K1), and though it is probably not of much use to anyone at this stage, more will be added all the time, and I am happy to do lookups.

This first thousand are representative of the body as a whole, and include performers at concerts at home whilst in training; on troopships; on active service at the front (from impromptu mess sing-songs to organised shows), and concerts in hospitals and convalescent depots. It also includes nurses and members of the women’s services, and a few French nationals who took the stage at British organised events. Members of entertainment committees, backstage crew, scriptwriters, songwriters etc etc are also recorded.

Many Pals have already helped me enormously in my resarch, and I thankyou sincerely for your time and trouble. It is much appreciated. I hope the end result will be a boon to fellow researchers.

In the meantime, if you know, or come across anyone who entertained whilst in uniform, please let me know, and I will enter him or her onto the Performers Database.


Kate,

You may have Herbert Arthur Dyer, pianist and conductor. Leant to fly a Camel at the age of 38 and flew with 65 Squadron until KIA. If not here he is.

http://www.flightglo...?search=herbert

For the short time he was with the Squadron he played in the mess every night.

Simon

#40 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE (Rosemaryag @ Jan 17 2010, 03:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kate - I will go digging around when I am next down at my mum's... which will be in March at the earliest! I will also ask my mum and uncle what they can remember about the K Lotteries. My great aunt role in the QMAAC was as a secretary in part of HQ transport somewhere in France I think!!!?! The details are again at my mum's house!


So! I have been down to my mum's, dug around ( in a large chest on wheels from my great aunt's house) and struck gold... both for my great aunt's role in WW1 (including a diary of her first few months in France, sadly nothing about the K Lotteries) and info on the "K Lotteries" & other entertainments.

I will concentrate on the "K Lotteries" in this post. A note on the back of a postcard notes that the K Lotteries Concert Party operated from 1918-1919. According to this postcard and a program, it was made up of women from QMAAC and was attached to Royal Engineers, DGT Camp, GHQ, B.E.F. The group was directed by K. French (I have not managed to find out her first name). The orchestra is described as the DGT orchestra & are in one of the photos from my previous post - I have not found any names for them. See attached picture of the handbill for a performance of unknown date.

The women in the attached postcard are identified as follows:
back row left to right: C. Grundy, D. Standish, B. Byron, C. Mitchell, Kathleen Cormack [my great aunt QMAAC Worker No.285], J. Hobbs
front row left to right: D. Whaite, P. Clark, K. French [director], Florence Butt, P. Singleton

I have emailed my uncle with these photos as memory joggers, to see if he has any further photos, program material or stories.

This is all very exciting!

regards
Rosemary

Attached Files



#41 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE (Rosemaryag @ Mar 17 2010, 11:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.This is all very exciting!


So exciting that I forgot to add that I will be happy to email or message you higher quality copies of the material if you would like!

regards
Rosemary

#42 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:06 PM

Kate

The entertainment material which my great aunt Kathleen Cormack had kept is spread across 2 posts.

As before, if you want better quality images I can send those along!
regards
Rosemary

Post 1

"How the Athletes saved England" by Quartermaster Middlemas read by him at the Concert of the No. 1 Company (Ilford Athletes) 5th Batt. Essex Volunteer Regiment on 1st January 1916

Cover and text of poem attached - note that topical drawings by Fred Buchanan were also displayed, although it is not clear whether these directly related to the poem!

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#43 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE (Rosemaryag @ Mar 17 2010, 12:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The entertainment material which my great aunt Kathleen Cormack had kept is spread across 2 posts.


Post 2

1) A song "La Sainte Famille" performed on 25 Jan 1918 during "La Soiree Musicale" put on by the "Club des Bavards" at the D.G.T. Camp.
The whole is in french & I'm not sure who wrote the song, music & played! Kathleen Cormack, Charis W. Grundy and Marjorie Skeen sang and Fernand Maignien composed or played? and possibly Lucien Coppon wrote the words?

2) Not so sure about whether this was a public performance or just for fun! I only have a photo (copy attached) labelled "Nero the Naughty" GHQ France April 1919!

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#44 Kate Wills

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:12 PM

Many thanks to Marika, Simon, Rosemary and everyone who has helped.

Rosemary,

I'm so pleased you had such an exciting find. I bet you came away beaming. Did you know your great aunt was a keen dancer?

K'Lotteries is a lovely bit of word play (life's a lottery; clots; the initial K of their founder maybe).

Any idea what DGT is?

#45 Rosemaryag

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE (Kate Wills @ Mar 17 2010, 12:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm so pleased you had such an exciting find. I bet you came away beaming. Did you know your great aunt was a keen dancer?

K'Lotteries is a lovely bit of word play (life's a lottery; clots; the initial K of their founder maybe).

Any idea what DGT is?


Kate - yes! Amazing stuff, I feel very lucky. I knew she was pretty adventurous (she travelled extensively all her life), but had no idea about the singing, dancing & so on!

DGT means Director General Transportation - they were part of GHQ near Montreuil.

regards
Rosemary

#46 Paul Nixon

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:19 PM

Kate

Have you got The Ten Tommies on your database? I've written about them HERE and HERE.

Paul

#47 Kate Wills

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:53 AM

Paul,

I have the group, but not the names until reading your webpage.

I have the Ten Tommies as being managed by Cecil Gray, and probably transforming into another group under Gray called Haig's Happy Heroes. There was another (or maybe the same!) group called Ten Wounded Tommies that was in business by mid-1916 under the direction of PT Selbit, whose main claim to fame was as inventor of the sawing a woman in half trick.

#48 Canadawwi

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:42 PM

Found something interesting today on the Canadian attestation database. It's the military attestation for Geoffrey Herbert Malins - one of the creators of the Battle of the Somme (1916) which is apparently considered to be the most popular film ever shown in Britain. Clips from this film regularly appear in today's news reports and documentaries on the first World War.

I look for interesting occupations named on these attestations, and this would be the first time where I've found someone who described his occupation as "Cinematographer and Producer".

He enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Canadian Army with his unit as "Canadian War Records". This attestation dates to December 6th, 1917 and was signed in England. Here's the link:

Lieut. Geoffrey Herbert Malins, Attestation

#49 delta

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 06:06 PM

Hi Kate biggrin.gif

Found another couple for your list.
Extract from the War diary of the Sixth Tank Bn; "The life of the Bn during the first weeks of November (1917) was extremely quiet. the time being devoted to training, improvements to winter quarters, and ths arrangements of a concert party under Capt D H Richardson and 2Lt A H C Borger"

You will find a lot of info about Richardson here http://tankmemorial.vpweb.co.uk/


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#50 mtaylor

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:31 PM

Kate - what an interesting thread. I don't suppose an Ethel Rodney appears in any of your lists. Ethel was a comedy actress pre -war and I suspect may have contributed her talent to the war effort.