Who's Who - Sir Harry Lauder
Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950) was a British entertainer who proved highly popular throughout the English speaking world both before, during and after World War One.
Born on 4 August 1870 in Edinburgh, Lauder's early career was spent working in a coalmine before he joined a concert party bound for Belfast.
His initial music hall routine was based upon the performance of comic songs, but he soon developed his own distinctive act as the composer and performer of simple Scottish songs. He achieved early renown for performing his routine while wearing a kilt.
Lauder's range varied, from When I Get Back Again to Bonnie Scotland to Roamin' in the Gloamin'. He frequently took his act abroad, touring the United States no fewer than 22 times, in addition to tours to other English-speaking countries, e.g. Australia and South Africa.
During World War One Lauder worked tirelessly to organise and recruit performers for shows given to troops serving abroad. His own son, Captain J.C. Lauder, was killed on the Somme shortly before New Year 1917.
Despite his son's death he continued to publicly rally support for the war, ending each of his wartime shows with his theme tune, Keep Right on to the End of the Road. He once again entertained the troops on the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
Lauder write four volumes of memoir and appeared in numerous motion pictures. He died on 26 February 1950 in Lanarkshire at the age of 79.
A Flechette was an anti-personnel dart dropped from an aircraft.
- Did you know?