Keep The Home Fires Burning

To coincide with the display ‘Keep The Home Fires Burning’ (1 July 2014 - 1 Feb 2015), this slideshow presents portraits of popular performers who topped the music hall bills and starred in the revues and musical comedies that provided entertainment during the years 1914-1918. The slideshow is accompanied by links to recordings of these entertainers performing popular songs of the day. The links will take you away from the National Portrait Gallery website to content that is not monitored by the Gallery. To listen to the recordings, simply click on the name of the song in the caption; the slideshow can be paused at the top right of the screen.

Vesta Tilley (1864-1952), published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, 1900s - Ax160090

‘Jolly good luck to the girl who loves a soldier’

Gwendoline Brogden (1891-1973), by Bassano Ltd, 1920s - x83020

‘I’ll make a man of you’

Florrie Forde (1875-1940), by Albert Sachs, early 1910s - x138277


John Francis McCormack (1884-1945), by James & Bushnell, 1912 - x19032

‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’


Harry Lauder (1870-1950), by Cavendish Morton , 1904 - P495

Keep right on to the end of the road’

Gertie Millar (1879-1952) in 'Bric-à-Brac', by  Rita Martin, 1916 - x160535

‘Toy Town’

Violet Loraine (1886-1956) and George Robey (1869-1954), by Foulsham & Banfield, 1910s - Ax160326

‘If you were the only girl in the world’

Elsie Janis (1889-1956) in 'Hullo, America', by Foulsham & Banfield, 1918 - Ax160125

‘Florrie was a flapper’

Ella Shields (1879-1952), by Unknown photographer, 1920s - x46682

‘Burlington Bertie from Bow’

Nora Bayes (1880-1928), by Melbourne Spurr, early 1920s - x135868

‘Over There’