Watercolour painting - The Teesside Jesters
This is one of a collection of watercolour paintings by, Colonel G O Spence, of Stockton on Tees, who commanded the 5th DLI during the First World War. Spence painted interesting scenes including villages, battlefields and his men at rest. The people in the picture and details of the particular event are not recorded. Spence had been involved in amateur dramatic performances for charities at home before the war. A detail from page 97-98 'The 5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry' by Major A L Raimes states “On May 23rd (1917, Arras Sector) we marched back to our old camp at Coigneax (10 miles NW of Albert). We remained there for three weeks. Nothing much happened ....It was here that we started the Battalion Concert Party - 'The Tees-side Jesters - which became an indispensable part of our organisation." They always managed to put up a very good show, sometimes in the open air, but more often in a YMCA hut. When no hut was available, they used the barns occupied by the different companies, and gave some excellent concerts in spite of the difficult conditions. One member of the troupe was Charles William Goulden-Pearson who was born in Stockton on Tees. He was a member of a local Pierrot troupe, appearing at the Stockton 'Grand Theatre of Varieties'. Spence’s watercolours provide a unique and intimate insight into the experiences of the 5th DLI.