Canadian makes good

Here’s a photo from the September 11 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a Canadian singer on British radio.

One thing that I need to research is when papers stopped including a period to indicate a short-form nickname (such as “Les.” here). 1934 is about the latest that I have seen it.

Strictly speaking, Les Allen (1902-1996), with “Les” being short for “Leslie”, was a native of Britain, as he was born in London. His family moved to Canada when he was three, though, so close enough. Allen grew up in Toronto and became a musician there before moving to England in 1924.

He continued performing up to the Second World War, during which he entertained Canadian troops. He eventually returned to Toronto and started a second career in the office supply trade. The 1950 and 1958 Toronto city directories, to pick two that I looked up at random, list Leslie Allen with Canada Carbon and Ribbon; in 1950, he lived in an apartment in Wychwood, and he had moved to an apartment in Forest Hill in 1958.

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