"The Passing Show" introduced the American actress Elsie Janis to British audiences and opened in London at the Palace Theatre in April 1914. At around that time, Elsie and Basil became secretly engaged and set up home in Liverpool. When war broke out, Basil joined the army and was killed in the first months of WW1 on the Western Front when he jumped from his Observation Balloon and his parachute failed to open. Elsie never got over his death.
Jack Buchanan the actor (1890 – 1957) was not passed as fit to join the armed forces during WW1 and continued with his acting, singing and dancing career. He became known as ‘the last of the Knuts’.
Elsie went on to entertain the troops on the Western Front during WW1 and then had a career as an actress and writer.
Jack Buchanan made his name as a film actor as well as a musical comedy star.
Photo: Basil Hallam as Gilbert the Filbert.