About Florrie Forde
<The Times, April 29, 1940>
<DEATH OF MISS FLORRIE FORDE- MUSIC HALL AND PANTOMIMES>
MISS Florrie Forde, for many years a most successful performer in the music-halls and in pantomime, died on Thursday at Aberdeen at the age of 64. After spending the afternoon entertaining the patients in a naval hospital, she was taken suddenly ill and died a few hours later in a nursing home.
Florrie Forde, whose original name was Flanagan, was an Australian, born in Melbourne in 1876. She appeared in pantomime at Sydney while still in her 'teens, and first performed in London on August Bank Holiday, 1897, appearing on that day at the Pavilion, Oxford, and South London music-halls. The date was prophetic, for if ever there was an artist who seemed to personify the spirit of a holiday crowd it was she. She one of the two or three of the most popular chorus singers, and could make an unsophisticated audience bellow a refrain again and again. As a principal boy in pantomime, resplendent in satin and spangles, she was an impressive sight. Her songs included _Down at the Old Bull and Bush_, _Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag_, _Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly_, _Oh! Oh! Antonio_, and _Flanagan_. She was not the only singer of _Tipperary_, but it was probably her singing of it which gave it its immense popularity, for she was an artist of extraordinary force and - within her own limited range - efficiency. She was in her element in the Isle of Man, where she appeared for more than 30 summer seasons. A woman of commanding physique, her bulk became in later years a stock jest, both with herself and with others. _If it will stand Florrie Forde,_ Harry Weldon used to say, gingerly testing the stage, _it will stand me_. She was greatly beloved both by her audiences and in her own profession, in which she was universally known as _Auntie Flo_. She took part in her first royal variety show in 1912. Her husband, Mr. L. Barnett, died in 1934.