AustLit logo
person or book cover
Hobart Mercury 23 February1918, 10.
The Gallipoli Strollers (1) The Gallipoli Strollers (1) i(A144120 works by) (Organisation) assertion
Born: Established: ca. 1917 ; Died: Ceased: ca. 1918
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


The Gallipoli Strollers was a troupe of wounded Gallipoli veterans which formed in late 1916/early 1917 after the members had returned to Australia. Comprising between seven and nine members (with several changes of personnel ovewr the years), the Strollers travelled extensively throughout Australia's during the years 1917 and 1918, providing the entire entertainment for its shows. Although the troupe concentrated on regional areas it still played brief seasons in the major metropolitan centres. The entertainment was built around songs, sketches and monologues which had been written in the trenches, but unlike the digger troupes which toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s did not include female impersonation as part of the entertainment.

Possibly the best-known performer was Private Harley Cohen who is known to have worked as a solo act on the Tivoli circuit for a period of time. The troupe was self-managed, with singer, Private Norman Croft also acting as tour manager. The musical direction was undertaken by a non-soldier, Mr Monte Morris.

In addition to its concert appearances, the Gallipoli Strollers regularly attended fund-raising and patriotic events which were held to coincide with its arrival in each town or city. The troupe, which is thought to have disbanded by the end of the war, was later superseded by professional digger companies like the Famous Diggers, the Mademoiselle Mimi Diggers and Smart Set Diggers.

[Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive]

Most Referenced Works


  • Another troupe with the same name is known to have been performing in Australia around the same period, although it appears to have been almost exclusively associated with Western Australia. That troupe, which the Australian Variety Theatre Archive identifies that troupe as the Gallipoli Strollers (2), was originally known as the Anzac Entertainers, and toured under the auspices of the Returned Soldiers and Sailors League.
Last amended 16 Sep 2013 23:05:22
See Also
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: