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Opera singer Dame Clara sang to Black Country troops

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 09, 2014

Sidney Williams and Elsie Price on their wedding day August 21, 1917

Sidney Williams and Elsie Price on their wedding day August 21, 1917

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FOLLOWING The Bugle's request for World War One stories my Dad, Sidney Williams, was the fifth child of Thomas and Elizabeth Williams (nee Collinswood). Sidney enlisted in the Royal Horse and Field Artillery on September 3, 1914. He was a gunner and then a fitter. He was in Ireland and in France.

He told me about the opera singer Dame Clara Butt singing to the troops from the dockside when they sailed to France. He also said that in the trenches they had to get rid of lice in their clothes by running a lighted match along the seams of their uniform. He also told me it was very important to stop any reflection from the guns giving their positions away.

Sidney came home on leave and married Elsie Price on August 21, 1917.

Mrs Elsie Cresswell,

14 Brindley Close, Wombourne.

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