A fellow fan, Ashley, sent me a link to newsreel footage of the Gordon Highlanders, a Scottish regiment in the British Army, marching with a group of children in 1899. In my post on Sunday about Making A Living, I mentioned that Charlie’s first film appearance may have been when he was caught by a newsreel camera as Scots Guards marched through St. James Park. Here is a description of the footage from a September 1921 New York Times article (Mrs. Jackson was the wife of the co-owner of the Eight Lancashire Lads):
“Mrs. Jackson’s husband happened to be one day at Oxford Music Hall in London and saw a film of Scots Guards marching through St. James Park and there was Charlie with the other boys keeping step alongside the soldiers. He was supposed to have been at school on the day the film was taken.”
I’m not sure if the setting of this newsreel is St. James Park (the bottom of a statue can be seen in the background). I have watched this footage a couple of times and I didn’t see anyone resembling Charlie but there are so few photos of him as a boy, it’s hard to know what to look for, plus some of the faces are very hard to make out. This might not be the footage of Charlie, but I thought I would pass it along anyway–perhaps someone with better eyes than me might be able to spot him.