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Vesta Tilley heritage trail now available to download

13th March 2018

Vesta Tilley "Britain's best recruiting sergeant"

Born in Worcester in 1864 Vesta Tilley was an internationally known music hall star who played a major role in the recruitment of soldiers during World War One. 

Vesta became known as "Britain's best recruiting sergeant" through her sharply observed ad patriotic music hall performances.

The heritage trail launched today, will take you through the early years of her life from the backstreets of Blockhouse.  

The porcelain trade where her father worked as a gilder, and the canal basin where her mother's family traded in sail cloth, the backdrop of the workhouse and take in the musical hall theatres where she made her name.

Dressed as characters such as 'Tommy in the Trench’, Vesta performed songs such as "The Army of Today's All Right" and 'Jolly Good Luck to the Girl who Loves a Soldier'.

Together with her husband, Walter de Frece Vesta helped to recruit thousands of men through her patriotic performances and she was given the nickname of 'Britain's best recruiting sergeant'.

Vesta also spent a lot of time raising money for the troops, writing to the men in the trenches and helping to boost morale by sending gifts such as a gramophone to the men fighting on the Western Front.

You can download the trail here - also available from from our resources page.