Behind the Lines

When their regular turn in the firing line ended the numbed men moved into the rear for a few precious days of rest. Here they played games of poker, blackjack, "Seven-toed Pete," sang of the charms of mademoiselle from Armentières, and took simple pleasure from place names at the front—Wipers (Ypres) and Plug Street (Ploegsteert).

The Dumbells Concert Party brought impudent, funny and very pertinent entertainment to these war weary troops. This extraordinary troop show was organized by Merton Plunkett of the Y.M.C.A. from soldiers of the Third Division. They delighted the troops with the "Dumbell Rag," "Oh It's a Lovely War," and their featured female impersonators. Starting out with costumes made out of bandages and lamps made out of tin cans they achieved a level of success that was to survive demobilization and take them to the heights of London and Broadway.

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