Sunday, 12 October 2014
WW1 Forces Sweetheart - Gertie Gitana (1887 - 1957)
Gertie was born Gertrude Mary Astbury in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. Her stage name is believed to have been taken from the Spanish or Italian word for Gypsy - possibly because of Gertie's dark good looks.
She had an illustrious career as a musical hall star, drawing crowds and receiving in excess of £100 a week. Gertie's signature tune was"Nellie Dean" and during WW1 she entertained the wounded in hospitals around the country.
Gertie, whose first professional performance was in Barrow-in-Furness in 1898, gave her final performance at the Empress Theatre in Brixton in 1938. She diedin 1957 and was buried in Welford Road cemetery in Wigston Magna, Leicestershire.
Source: Wikipedia and Google Images