16th January 1918 Wednesday

The King honours Douglas but Mother is left out in the cold

All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this work is the sole copyright of the author and the family of Doctor D.C.M. Page MC.

“On the forenoon of Wednesday, January 16th 1918 Mother and I drove up to Buckingham Palace in a taxi. Unfortunately, Mother had to wait outside in the cold. There were about 100 other officers present, and we all gathered in a large and beautiful room where we were inspected and instructed by a high court official. Then we passed through several other beautiful apartments, till at last we came to the Throne Room. The King was standing there with a group of officers of state beside him. He pinned the Cross on my tunic, and shook hands with me, using the left hand, as his right was strained with so much hand-shaking. He did not speak, and looked very small and insignificant in his Field Marshal’s uniform. I bowed and moved off to another ante-room where a flunky gave me a box for my medal, and returned my coat and cap.
Military Cross
There were big crowds waiting outside the Palace to see us come out. Mother and I lunched at Morley’s, and then saw ‘Chu-Chin-Chow’ at His Majesty’s Theatre. It was a wonderful show, with Oscar Asche and Lily Brayton.
The Tatler - Wednesday 12 September 1917 Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The Tatler – Wednesday 12 September 1917
Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

At night I dined with Capt. Meek at the Trocadero, and then saw ‘Bubbly’ at the Comedy. It was a splendid revue, featuring Arthur Playfair and Phyllis Monkman”.
The Tatler - Wednesday 23 May 1917 Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The Tatler – Wednesday 23 May 1917 Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

The Tatler - Wednesday 23 May 1917 Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The Tatler – Wednesday 23 May 1917 Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

Finally the day of Douglas’ great honour had arrived and his mother Elizabeth and himself proudly set off in a taxi for Buckingham Palace sadly for his mother to be denied access by the protocol of the day.

Nonetheless I am absolutely sure that she would have been glowing with pride that her son had got to meet the King and be honoured in such a way.

Following lunch at Morley’s and the show in the Haymarket he doesn’t mention what happened to his mother following that but one would assume that as he was again out to dine with a colleague in the evening that she had been suitably despatched back to Kings Cross and home to Scotland.

Douglas mentions that ‘Chu-Chin-Chow’ was a wonderful show but from reading about some of its content it may not appear an obvious one to take your mother to as the cast included scantily clad slave girls. However the Pages’ visit may have been after that of the Lord Chamberlain where the ‘naughtiness’ was ordered to be toned down. Chu-Chin-Chow along with the Bing Boys was one of the great successes of the War years. It ran for over 5 years with 2238 consecutive performances. This record was held for almost 40 years until it was overtaken by Salad Days in the 1950s.

Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here

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