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Forde, Florrie, 1875 - 1940



  • Existence: 16 August 1875 - 18 April 1940


Flora May Augusta Flannagan aka Florrie Forde was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne on 16 August 1875 to Lott Flannagan, an Irish-born a stonemason, and wife Phoebe Simmons (1846-1892). Florrie’s parents' marriage ended around 1878 and in 1888, her mother re-married Thomas Henry Snelling Ford, a theatrical costumier.

Florrie’s mother died when she was 17 and she was taken to a convent with some of her siblings. Not long after, Florrie run away to live with an aunt in Sydney, where she became a music hall performer under the stage name of Florrie Forde singing popular and comical songs.

As her fame grew, Florrie started to tour around Australia and eventually moved to the United Kingdom in 1897, where she became one of the most popular music hall stars of the day. Florrie had a powerful stage presence, and specialised in popular songs with catchy choruses the audience could sign with her.

Although Florrie was most famous for her singing, she also became a regularly in popular pantomime and occasionally appeared in dramatic plays.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Florrie was enjoying great success, as reflected by her appearance in the very first Royal Variety Performance in 1912. When the First World War started Florrie, as many of her peers joined in raising the morale of troops and civilians alike singing patriotic songs such as ‘It's A Long Way To Tipperary’ and ‘Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty’.

In the years after the war, Florrie formed her own travelling revue to provide a platform for new rising stars and she became well known for her generosity, particularly helping other performers in difficulties.

Florrie continued performing in the music hall scene during the 1930s and appeared in small parts in several films. She also continued supporting war veterans with special performances until her death on 18 April 1940 at Aberdeen, Scotland.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Bill Barnes Collection

Reference code: NFA0172
Scope and Contents

Programmes, posters and photographs mainly related to the Poole family's travelling Myriorama show.

Dates: 1881 - 2017

Chelsea Palace Theatre Poster, Week commencing Monday 31 August 1931

Reference code: 178R27.163
Scope and Contents

Shaun Glenville Irish Comedian, Florrie Forde chorus singer, Archie Glen Ben Said the funjuror, The Hearnes, Pauline Crothers and her violin, The London six-Harmony, burlesque, Dancing. Blue and red type on white background. Printed by John Waddington ltd., 108 Albion Road, Stoke Newington.

Dates: Week commencing Monday 31 August 1931

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Reference code: NFA0089
Scope and Contents The Cyril Critchlow collection contains programmes, posters, handbills, books and magic journals, many of which relate to shows in Blackpool where Cyril resided and includes material on entertainment venues such as Blackpool’s North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower Circus and a small collection of programmes from other national venues. Additionally, it contains circus photographs and postcards mainly of the Ohmy Circus and Sanger Circus including individual circus troupes and performers...
Dates: c1837 - 2008

Posters, c1887 - 2010

Reference code: 178R27
Scope and Contents

Circus, variety, pantomime and magic posters including Argyle theatre, Liverpool Empire, Blackpool Tower Circus, Robert Brothers, Austen Brothers, Sorcar, Vesta Tilley, Ken Dodd, Dan Leno, Florrie Forde and others.

Dates: c1887 - 2010

Programmes , 1881 - 2016

Reference code: 178K53
Scope and Contents

Pre-Film and variety and music hall programmes mainly related to the travelling shows of Joseph Poole and Harry Poole, Harry H. Hamilton, Mapleston Brothers and Adams but it also includes other showmen.

Dates: 1881 - 2016

The Oxford Programme, 19 March 1898

Reference code: 178K53.37
Scope and Contents Miss Ada Owen, Conway and Clarke, The Brothers Artois, Miss Sophie May, Herbert La Martine, Sisters Lloyd, Mr Bransby Williams, Miss Topsy Sinden, Mr Frank Coyne, Sisters Winterton, Mr Bernard Armstrong, Tom White and his Merry Company, Mr Walter Munroe, Mr Leo Stormont, Miss Jessie Lindsay, Mr Tom Leamore, Miss Maud Irving and Rousby, Mr Pat Rafferty, Mr Albert Christian, Mr Paul Mill, Miss Florrie Forde, Mr Harry Tate, Ara, Zebra and Vora, Vendome and Chase, Mr Mark Milton, Bibb and Bobb....
Dates: 19 March 1898