Greasepaint and Cordite: How ENSA Entertained the Troops During World War II
The extraordinary story of the young entertainers sent out to war to dance and sing. Once the Second World War had broken out, it soon became clear that morale would be crucial in the military effectiveness of our armed forces. And so was born the Entertainment National Services Association, or ENSA – to send the nation’s best singers, dancers, musicians and comedians, from Noël Coward to Gracie Fields, to entertain the troops, however far away they might be. Andrew Merriman has talked to surviving ENSA veterans, to piece together the extraordinary adventures of the ordinary men and women sent out across the world – even to inhospitable, dangerous Burma – whose contribution to the war effort was song, dance and laughter.