[Sheet music] The ruddy platoon

Accession Number RC10833
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 348
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall - closed: 31.1 cm x 26.3 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Fisher, Howard
Tompkins, W.F
Date made 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Attached digital images, content and recording are protected by copyright. It is reproduced here for research and study only. If you wish to use or quote from this recording and images, please contact the Memorial’s Research Centre via info@awm.gov.au or 02 6243 4315.

Sheet music for the song titled 'Ruddy platoon', with music composed by Howard Fisher and lyrics written by Howard Fisher and W F Tomkins. Both men appear to have served in British forces during the First World War. The lyrics describe conditions faced by in the trenches for non-commissioned officers. Trench slang terms feature prominently.

This copy was published by E. Osborne & Co. Ltd. in 1917 and originally belonged to Private Ernest Alfred Nicholls. His name features on the front cover in the top right hand corner. Nicholls was a member of The Aussies and The Perham Stars concert parties during the First World War. This copy of the music has been pasted into a cover made from brown paper with title cut out and pasted on the front cover. Towards the back, are the typed lyrics for the song which have been annotated with the name of who will perform each verse. On the back cover is the music for 'God save the King'.

Captain Howard Fisher served in the British Army during the First World War with the Durham Light Infantry. Second Lieutenant W F Tomkins served with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) with British forces during the First World War.

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].

History / Summary

Towards the end of 1918, the play titled ‘The Better ‘Ole’, written by Bruce Bairnsfather and Arthur Eliot with music by Herman Darewski. Bairnsfather’s cartoons ‘Fragments from France’, were popular during the war. This play featured the song ‘The Ruddy Platoon’, although it is not known when it was added to the program. This play also appeared in theatres in London during 1918 and was attended by Australian soldiers including Edward White Moncrieff who served with the 45th Battalion. The Australian performances were under the direction of Mr Lionel Walsh, who performed in the play, with the English Musical Comedy Company and toured regionally following the season in Sydney. Some of the towns where the play was performed included the New South Wales towns of Orange, Narrandera, Leeton, Lismore and Delegate as well as the Victorian town of Traralgon.