The Balmorals: The name of the Concert Party of the 51st (Highland) Division. Practically every Division in the War, particularly in the New Armies, had its Concert Party, or troupe of entertainers, picked out from men who in civilian life had been professionals. These were organised to provide entertainments for their comrades when resting "Out of the Line." There was considerable rivalry and sometimes inter-divisional jealousy in connection with the Concert Parties over the possession of some "star" performer. The Divisional Parties were quite distinct from the Concert Parties from England, such as those of Miss Lena Ashwell, whose tours were confined to areas in rear. The Divisional Concert Parties' cast had, of course, to rely on men for ladies' parts, and many performers acquired a widespread reputation form their skill. It may be interesting to recall that much the same thing was done in the Peninsular War by some of Wellington's Divisions, particularly the famous "Light Division," when in Winter Quarters in 1811, the performances of which attained widespread popularity. Some of their programmes are still in existence and treasured in various Regiments.
References / notes[edit | edit source]
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.15.
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