Pack Up Your Troubles
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Aubrey Powell still has his grandfather's tambourine, inscribed with the names of the various Flanders battlefields. Despite having the extraordinary experience of being on the Rhine immediately after the signing of the Armistice in November , and hearing British "Tommies" singing Pack Up Your Troubles on one side, and German soldiers singing it in German on their side the song had become a hit in Germany too , Powell ended the war a broken man. He went to live in the hopefully named Peacehaven in East Sussex, and his brother came to join him.
Wealthy citizens, they ran the local Peacehaven Gazette. Felix owned an estate agent, and they opened a theatre, the Lureland, where projects were tried out before they went to Brighton and the West End. In the mid-Thirties Felix started writing his own musicals, and at the instigation of a famous actress of the time, Anne Croft mother of Dad's Army creator David Croft , he wrote a musical called Primrose Time. Croft's star was waning and she needed a hit. Primrose Time opened in Brighton to favourable revues, and was due to go to the West End.
With another war looming, however, backing was hard to come by; Felix was introduced to one William Quilliam — a well-known confidence trickster and gangster. William Quilliam came to my grandfather and said, 'You've got to pay me the money back' — which he couldn't. It was then that he started steal from his own estate agency.
The bitter irony was that, because of the war, Pack Up Your Troubles had become a hit again.
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But then that's the double-edged nature of Pack Up Your Troubles — the royalties from it always peak during times of conflict. And as a result of that I think the song, and the proceeds of the song, haunted him. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag : [song sheet]
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Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag (And Smile, Smile, Smile)
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Our first housing service in , was the rent of twelve suites of rooms in Elm Park Mansions to accommodate officers' widows and unmarried daughters. Shortly afterwards Broghill House in Wimbledon, southwest London, was purchased. At the outbreak of the First World War, the Government called on us to take care of the families of soldiers going to the Front. We helped 25, families in , compared with 18, families the previous year.
Wartime Medley - Keep The Home Fires Burning, Pack Up Your Troubles
We continue to provide advice and support to families facing financial hardship today. Soon afterwards the first of many overseas bureaux, where men could discuss family problems or make enquiries about relatives, opened in Cairo in September Our social workers accompanied the bereaved relatives who travelled to the Falkland Islands the following year. This is the st copy of the song and was referred to as the sixpenny edition.
Inside the front cover of this copy, are excerpts from three songs, added by the publisher for advertising purposes: 'Taffy's got his Jennie in Glamorgan' written and composed by Tony Lloyd and Bert Lee; 'When you're a long, long way from home', written by Sam M Lewis and composed by G W Meyer; and 'It's a grand sight to see them going away', written and composed by Frank Leo.
According to choirmaster Gareth Malone, the song could attribute its success to 'simplicity. It's written in G major, which can be played on a wide range of instruments relatively easily.
When the news was recieved that the song had won first prize, it is reported that Felix mentioned that they added the song into their show at Southampton and 'were as amused as we were delighted to hear thousands of troops singing it en route for the docks'. Over time, the two brothers became aware of how the song was being used during the First World War. They were both educated at St Asaph Cathedral where George was a chorister and Felix was an organist at the cathedral.
They were music hall stars before 'Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag', became a hit during the First World War. George was a pacifist and Felix served as a staff sergeant during the First World War. After the war, the brothers operated a theatre and newspaper in Sussex. There are reports that George went on to become a baker and confectioner. A historic plaque marks the house where they were born in St Asaph, Wales.
Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. One of the stories associated with this song, that received lots of coverage in the Australian newspapers, was the sinking of the Royal Navy's cruiser, HM Laurentic, by a mine off the coast of Ireland in January