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GRACIE FIELDS SINGING FOR THE TROOPS. THE HOKEY POKEY MAN AND AN INSANE HAWKER OF FISH BY CONNIE DURAND, AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE.

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English actress, singer and comedian Gracie Fields (1898 - 1979) arrives at Heston Aerodrome, near London, after a tour of France, 29th April 1940. She has been entertaining the British and French troops. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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When Auntie ruled the airwaves: Nightly sermons, lectures from HG Wells and Woman's Hour presented by a man! On the 90th anniversary of the BBC's first broadcast, a new book recalls a golden age

The Lancashire Lass: Actress, singer, and comediénne, Dame Gracie Fields, DBE (born Grace Stansfield, in Rochdale, 1898-1979)

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A photograph of Gracie Fields leaving her footprints at Belle Vue in Manchester, taken in June 1959 by Bert Abell for the Daily Herald. Gracie Fields (1898-1979) leaves her footprints in plaster at Belle Vue gardens an amusement park in Manchester. She is helped by her husband, Boris Alperovici. Fields, real name Grace Stansfield, was an actress, singer and comedienne born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

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Gracie Fields hands out tea to the troops in a village near Valenciennes, one of whom has a pet monkey on his shoulder, 26 April 1940.

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Trocadero Theatre, London A photograph outside the Trocadero Theatre, taken in May 1934 by Harold Tomlin for the Daily Herald. Theatre posters advertise the appearance on stage that night of Gracie Fields (1898-1979) - due to present the winner’s cheque of £10,000 in the Daily Herald ‘Radio Stars’ contest. Gracie Fields, real name Grace Stansfield, was an English actress, singer and comedienne.Via The Daily Herald Archive

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1940: Popular British entertainer Gracie Fields (1898 - 1979) wearing the uniform of an honorary Captain in the Canadian Women's Volunteer Reserve Corps of Montreal. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

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Beside a ration book are one persons rations for a week - including four rashers of bacon and one egg.

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Gracie Fields, accompanied by an RAF orchestra, entertains airmen at their Christmas party.

Gracie Fields, famous British actress, comedienne and singer at her peak in the 1930s and 1940s.

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