Autographed photo from Chaplin to Major General Ian Hay Beith, February 1918

From the collection of Cecil Jones. Used with permission.

The inscription reads: “To Capt I. H. Beith, In Sincere Admiration, Charlie Chaplin, Feb. 24th, 1918”

Another photo exists of Chaplin & Beith with Jesse Lasky standing in front of the same wall which is from the dance hall set of A Dog’s Life. 

In addition to being a decorated British soldier, Beith, whose real name was John Hay Beith, was also a successful author who used the pen name, Ian Hay.

According to a diary entry by British author John Evelyn Wrench, Beith visited Chaplin again in July of the following year. The entry dated September 7th, 1919 reads:

…Dined with Ian Hay who is just back from America, where he has been since the Armistice, travelling [sic] all over the place. I do like him. He spent 6 weeks with the film ring at Los Angeles and saw quite a lot of Charlie Chaplin, who is a very nice little man he says. He was there when the latter’s wife lost her little baby and Charlie Chaplin was much cut up about it. (Wrench, Struggle, 1914-1920, London, 1935)

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