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South Wingfield Military Hospital

Soldiers’ Concert at Alfreton

An entire success, both artistically and financially was the hospital program given at Alfreton Picture House on Friday by the Royal Garrison Artillery, in aid of funds for the South Wingfield Red cross hospital.

 The party, conducted by Captain Drayson is composed of well-known London artistes of the musical and dramatic world, and even from the moment when the seven Pierrots made their bow, and sang their opening chorus the crowded audience thoroughly appreciated every clever item on a sparkling programme.

Captain Drayson in the possession of a fine tenor voice and his rendering of familiar ballads, old and modern, called for delighted encores. Sgt H Wodley a baritone at Covent garden and Carl Rosa Opera enchanted his audience with many popular numbers from his repertoire, and his mellow rich tones echoed again and again in the large hall. Sgt. D.C. Haley of His Majesty’s and other London theatres recited several dramatic and pathetic renditions, with the infinite skill of a practised elocutionist, and his audience were vexed with the acoustic properties of the hall, which came as an interrupter once or twice in his best moments.

The humour of Sgt. Fred Pitt, Corporal Bailey and Sgt. Beresford was the humour of that infectious kind that chased melancholy from the most depressed. There was little need to applaud, the whole- hearted mirth of the audience told its own story.

Corporal Baileys light and airy step dancing added to his success and in one song and dance he was irresistible. Sgt. Beresford’s lusty baritone was the perfection of musical humour, to hear that famous comedian sing “A Meatless Day” and his burlesque “Excelsior”, was to laugh as one would not often laugh nowadays. Sgt. Smith of Queens Hall and other London platforms, has a tenor of wonderful range and sweetness and he uses it with perfection and expression. His songs were persistently encored. Bombardier Campion’s humorous songs in a fine light tenor were also widely appreciated. There were two accompaniments with the party whose crisp and able playing carried along the programme without a hitch.

In a short interval, Mr C. W. Toun of South Wingfield, appeared, to propose a hearty vote of thanks to the party for a delightful entertainment, and for their help given so generously to the funds of the Wingfield Hospital which was having a very anxious time keeping going and whose funds were much in need of immediate help. Dr Corkery seconded and the audiences’ expression of appreciation was both loud and prompt.

Captain Drayson expressed the thanks of his party and himself in a simple and soldierly speech. The sum of £35 1s has been handed over to South Wingfield as a result of the concert and thanks are due to Mr H. W. Daykin of Alfreton, for the business organisation of the successful evening. He was assisted by Bombardier Beresford.