|sketch from souvenir program.|
On Christmas night, 1915, the 85th Field Ambulance Brigade, under the direction of one of its members, Private Frank Kenchington, staged a performance of Dick Whittington, a Pantomime in Three Acts for the troops in Salonika , believed to be the first – but not the last - such divisional pantomime . Frank Kenchington, who in civilian life worked in the London life department of the North British Mercantile insurance company, wrote the script in less than two weeks, on the march or in the communal tent at night. Private Norman Hadfield wrote the words to the numerous songs and Private Jaques wrote original music for two of these. Pte Norman King choreographed the solo dances.
The First Act is set in Alderman Fitzwarren’s Store in Chelsea, the Second Act on board the Good Ship Passover , and the Third Act outside Alderman Fitzwarren’s Canteen –“ in the mists on the mountains, somewhere in Greece” – providing ample opportunity for jokes about Army food, profiteering and local conditions.
|Pte Jaques' illustration|
Corporal Eddie Dillon, who played Alice, and also Kitty in Aladdin, was accepted for training in the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. After a spell on the Western Front, he became an instructor at 7th Training Depot Station at Feltwell in Norfolk. He died in a flying accident aged 23 on 12 April 1918, and is buried in St Mary's Roman Catholic section of Kensal Green Cemetery.