Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Concert troupe in the First World War

These photographs are from a concert troupe called The Headlights.

"The Headlights on Demobilization"
On the left (seated) is Private Henry (Harry) Storey.  At the outbreak of war he was living with his family in the road where he was born, Felton Street in Byker.  He must have been seventeen or barely eighteen when he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorials) in Newcastle.  According to family tradition he was a bugler – each Field Ambulance had a bugler. By the end of the War he was in the Army Service Corps.

Henriette Vienne & Harry Storey
This photograph is signed "Meilleur souvenir, H. Vienne" and "Sincerely yours, Harry Storey".

"Avec mon meilleur souvenir de la troupe Headlights, Henriette Vienne"

The Band

This must be the band that played for the Headlights troupe.  On the reverse is written "Sincerely yours" followed by two signatures:
Ted C. Chopping
George Howarth

Harry Storey's family had a great love of theatre. His father, John Henry Brett Storey, worked on the railways but his heart was given to drama and music and in his evenings he worked backstage.  Harry himself, after several years of great enjoyment as an amateur actor during the War, was very close to taking to the stage as a professional after 1919 – his sister Nancy was to be a Gaiety Girl.  Marriage in 1921 and a growing family must have played a part in his decision to take less risky employment. He set up his own successful building company in Newcastle and, after growing bored with retirement, was involved in the printing business of Hindsons, which was later bought up by Jordisons.

If anyone recognises any of the other men in the photo – or knows anything about Henriette Vienne – do please let me know!

(Harry Storey was my grandfather, btw)

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