December 1919: the Southern Syncopated Orchestra in Glasgow – Egbert E. Thompson and Norrie Smith

The Daily Record and Mail (Daily Record, in The British Newspaper Archive) continues to be a valuable source of

information about Glasgow and its rich cultural history.


Among the articles, notes and gossip, as well as photographs of some of the members of the Southern Syncopated

Orchestra is the following, which was published in “This Morning’s Gossip” on page seven, on Tuesday the 30th of

December, 1919:


Fought in France.


I mentioned the other day that Lieutenant E. E. Thompson,

the musical director of the Southern Syncopated Orchestra,

now in Glasgow, wears the Croix de Guerre. I have since

learned that altogether twelve members of the company saw

service with the American Army. Nine were wounded, and

three won decorations.


With Gerard.


Norrie Smith, too, the orchestra’s baritone, was in Berlin during

the early days of the war, as a special messenger to Ambassador

Gerard. He has some interesting stories to tell of his experiences

in the German capital.”




The British Newspaper Archive.



James W. Gerard (1867-1951) was the American Ambassador to Germany,

from 1913 to 1917.




George Fairfull-Smith, June 2024.