Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

One of the many war-plays illustrating the sufferings of Belgian peasants from Prussian barbarity. At a humble home in Louvain an old man, his daughter, and his little grandson, are bemoaning the horrors of the German occupation, when the child, firing from the window a toy-pistol, is shot dead by some soldiers who, with the officer in command, enter the house. One of the soldiers expresses shame at his share of baby-slaying, whereupon the brutal officer kills him with his revolver, and subsequently orders the old man to be taken out and shot. Necessarily painful, but otherwise unobjectionable. Recommended for license, Ernest A. Bendall.

Licensed On: 7 Jul 1915

License Number: 3566


British Library Reference: LCP1915/18

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66104 K


13 Jul 1915 Court Theatre, LondonProfessional Licensed Performance
Read Narrative
Performed as part of a special matinee at the Royal Court Theatre. It was the main piece in the second Act and followed the patriotic song 'Oh! Tommy Atkins, Here's Good Luck' by Mrs Lynedoch Moncrieff, and performed by M. Georges Mauguiere. A note in the programme added that 'After the play was written the following appeared in the Westminster Gazette, of September 19th, 1914 - "Coming out of the town I witnessed a terrible sight, the funeral of a little boy who had dared to point a wooden gun at a Prussian soldier! He was a child of five'. (VAM Theatre Collections, Royal Court production folder, 1915). The performance was followed by a patriotic song called "The Message of the Flag" written by Captain Mockridge and with words by C. Roxburgh Wylie. It was the first performance of the song in public.