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Muerrisch

Divisional Concert Parties

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Muerrisch

Big subject. The War the Infantry Knew [Dunn] lists five Divisional [or lower formation] Concert or Variety troupes, mostly all male. As far as I am aware, the subject has not been researched. Not that I am into drag. But I bet one of our members knows a lot more of the parties than I do.

Particularly sought are photos or anecdotes about those that are listed within the pages of TWTIK:

Follies, Pedlars, Ruffles, Shrapnels and Welsh Wails.

Help, please.

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charlesmessenger

David

Not certain about the others, but a number of divisional ocncert parties were known as the Follies - 2nd, 4th, 47th for a start.

A good source is J G Fuller `Troop Morale and Popular Culture in the British and Dominion Armies 1914-1918' Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990.

Charles

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Muerrisch

Charles, thank you, I shall pursue the source recommended.

David

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Greenwoodman

23rd Division's concert party were known as the "Dumps"!

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Malcolm

On Divisional concert parties:

' The Tykes ' the divisional concert party of 49th (W Riding) Division

' The Balmorals ' " concert party of 51st Highland Division

' The Bow Belles ' " concert party of 56th (London) Division

There is also a photo of 15th (Scottish) Division concert party in ' Scottish Units in the World Wars' Osprey Elite Series.

Aye

Malcolm

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Chris_Baker

A list was published in "Stand To!" a good few years ago. I'l see if I can find it.

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

The concert party of the 1st Bn Devonshire Regiment was known as the 'Devon Dumplings'. The 9th Bn East Surrey had 'The Crafty Cockneys'. Outside the Army, the Independent Air Force had the 'Independents'.

Ian :)

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Bob Coulson

Just a few more,

9th - The Thistles

15th - The Jocks

20th - The Very Lights

ANZAC - The Shrapnels

49th - The Tykes

50th - The Jesmond Jesters

52nd - The Thistletops.

3rd Canadian - The Dumbells

Bob.

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mordac

CEF:

1st Canadian Division - The Volatiles

2nd Canadian Division - The Maple Leaves

Bob mentioned The Dumbells. They were the most popular of all the CEF concert party groups and continued to preform in The United States, Canada and England into the 1930's.

Garth

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Chris Noble

The 'Owls", 15th West Yorks, 'Leeds Pals'.

Chris.

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Cliff. Hobson

46th Division-- The Whizz-Bangs

59th Division ( I think) The Sparklets.

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MartinWills

The Bluebirds - 30th Div (with thanks to another thread and Chris Basey)

The Clickety-Clicks - 22nd Division

There was also a field ambulance unit in Salonika with a Concert Party called "The Splints" - in addition to the famous 85th Field Ambulance who played under their unit name

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Kate Wills

David,

Ad hoc concert parties were formed by many units, certainly at battalion level, such as The Cobblers of the 7th Northants (whose Lt Durrant-Swann, unlike yourself, was into drag). As the war progressed the need for entertainment produced a more organised approach, and professional and 'wanabees' were mustered into structured groups.

Below is a list presented in Stand To! article mentioned by Chris, and contributions from members of this Forum (to whom I extend my thanks).

It must be remembered though, that many names belonged to more than one party, as some seem to have formed for one or to performances only. Also, some divisions had more than one; the 60th for instance had, in addition to the Roosters, the Barnstormers

4th Div Follies / Roosters

5th Whizz Bangs

6th Fancies

9th Thistles

12th Spades

15th Jocks

17th Duds

19th Follies

20th Very Lights

21st Soarers

22nd Clickety Clicks

23rd Dumps

29th Diamond Troupe

30th Bluebirds

31st Pedlars

34th Chequers

36th Merry Mauves

37th Barn Owls

38th Welsh Wails

40th Gamecocks

42nd Th' Lads

46th Whizzbangs

47th Follies

49th Tykes

50th Jesmond Jesters

51st Balmorals

52nd Thistletops

56th Bow Bells

58th The Goods

59th Crumps

60th Roosters

62nd Pelicans

1st Canadian Volatiles

2nd Canadian Maple Leaves

3rd Canadian Dumbells

4th Aus The Smart Set

ANZAC The Shrapnels / Anzac Coves

Of Dunn's book, all I can add is that The Welsh Wails of the 38th Division were led by the film actor Eric Blore from 1917 to 1919. Blore earned a reputation for playing butler roles later in his career.

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Guest Ian Topham

A popular concert party with the NZ Rifle Brigade Units was the " Kiwi's " :D

Cheers

Ian

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Andrew P

Some time ago I recall seeing photo's of concert parties in the photo database of the Australian War Memorial website.

Might be worth checking out if you are interested in photos of these units.

http://www.awm.gov.au

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Mark

58th (London) Division were known as The Goods.

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Terry Carter

Hi There

The concert party of the 16th Royal Warwicks (3rd Birmingham Bn.) who served in the 5th Division were known as the 'Brum Boys.' The photograph was taken at the end of the war when the party made a special trip back to Birmingham and appeared at a local theatre for a week.

Terry

post-2-1058873416.jpg

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Muerrisch

My thanks so far to all the contributors .... between us we are a huge resource ...... I really am impressed and grateful. Keep 'em coming please, especially photos.

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mordac

Here's a collage of some famous Dumbells pictures. There's also another Dumbells picture in a thread located here.

Garth

post-2-1058927428.jpg

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MartinWills
... The War the Infantry Knew [Dunn] lists five Divisional [or lower formation] Concert or Variety troupes.....

Particularly sought are photos or anecdotes about those that are listed within the pages of TWTIK:

Follies, Pedlars, Ruffles, Shrapnels and Welsh Wails.

Looking through the posts I don't think anyone has confirmed which Unit/Division was home to "The Ruffles".

Does anyone know?

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Muerrisch

Ruffles were a battalion party, that of 20RF who themselves were known insultingly as 'The Chocolate Soldiers' by 2RWF. Mentioned twice in TWTIK, said to be 'not a bad show'.

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Muerrisch

More information on concert parties.

This from a mutilated copy of "Troop Morale.....by Fuller" at Cambridge University Library.

About 80% of British and Dominion divisions, at least, had concert parties. They comprise:

2 to 8, 9,12,15 to 17, 19 to 21, 23 to 26, 30 to 42, 46 to 53, 55 to 63, 66, 74. Australian 3 to 5, NZ 1, Can. 2 to 4.

From the index, the following idents:

Bow Bells 56

Jinks, Balloonatics, Tangerines and Light Railway in Palestine,

Cheerios 2/6 King's Liverpool

Diamand Troupe 29

Goods 58

Crumps 41

Curios 48

Tonics 92 Bde

Dumps 23

Whizz Bangs 5

Fanicies 6

Follies 4

Very Lights Div in which 12 RB served.

Hope this helps.

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mordac
About 80% of British and Dominion divisions, at least, had concert parties.  They comprise:

2 to 8, 9,12,15 to 17, 19 to 21, 23 to 26, 30 to 42,  46 to 53, 55 to 63, 66, 74.  Australian 3 to 5, NZ 1, Can. 2 to 4.

Hi langley:

Does the book mention the name of the 4th Canadian Division concert party? Thanks.

Garth

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Muerrisch

Sorry, no name for concert party of 4 Canadian Div. I downloaded all my info ...... Fuller lists by number all Divs who had a party [as far as he knew] but gives no names. The names that I found were from the Index, then referred back to the body of the book.

Book is a rare beast .... I nearly had one the other day, sold under my nose.

Small book, big nose.

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Paul Reed

Just come across this picture in my collection of the 'Pedlars', divisional concert party of 32nd Division taken in Germany March 1919.

post-2-1060340834.jpg

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