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This forum has no connection in any way with a website of a similar name,any similarity is coincidental. Our associate web site is www.southwestbattlegroup.org.uk we are also associated with and display on /ww2-reenactors-magazine.socialgo.com

From ENSA to CSE, entertaining the home front and HM Forces.

The Entertainments National Service Association, or ENSA was an organisation set up in 1939 by impresario Basil Dean and the British Government to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during World War 2. ENSA operated as part of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI). It was superseded by Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) which now operates as part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC). SSVC is a British registered charity set up to "entertain and inform Britain's Armed Forces around the world".
Despite many extremely talented entertainers and movie stars, past and future, working for ENSA the organisation was necessarily spread thin over the vast area it had to cover.

With thousands of groups entertaining troops in almost every theatre of war, the quality of the shows was bound to vary considerably and was inclined to get worse in proportion to how far from Britain the troops were stationed.

Famous stars such as Vera Lynn, Tommy Trinder, Arthur Askey and "Stinker" Murdoch, George Formby and Gracie Fields all joined ENSA to aid the war effort. All the major stars visited every theatre of war to put on a show to entertain the troops. ENSA itself, with Geraldo supervising the musical side, gave many post-war stars their first experience - among these, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Edwards, Frankie Howerd and the lesser lights who made a steady living in show business owed much to the organisation.

The television sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum concerned the misadventures of a group of soldiers providing entertainment for an army barracks in India and Burma.

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