Selected by Kate O’Brien, Archives Services Manager


An exchange of letters between bandleader Charles Clay and General Sir Ian Hamilton, 14-15 November 1918. Clay was keen to get his piano player back: Hamilton was dubious that this could happen quickly.


I love this collision between the world of popular entertainment and the vast officialdom of the Army. I love Hamilton’s remark about ‘firms and private families who think that this is now a good opportunity to get their old retainers back’. Most of all I love Clay’s letter-heading: ‘Clay’s Bands for all Society Functions: Ragtime Bands a Specialité’

Ref: Hamilton 11/5/1

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *