Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Katharine Thomson

Letter No.: 
20th December, 1950.

The White Gates,

Dear Mrs. Thomson,

There is a young girl whom my Wife and I are much interested in, who is going to play ‘principal girl’ in a pantomime, I think called ‘The Babes in the Wood’, but I am not sure of the theatre - it is one of the big Birmingham theatres.
Her stage name is Erica Yorke.  Her real name is Jancke.1 She came over as a refugee from Germany at the beginning of the war, quite a little girl, with her Mother, and was one of the refugees looked after by our Dorking Committee.  She is now making quite a name for herself on the stage but I am afraid she does not aim higher than musical comedy and pantomime; but she is quite talented and a very nice, hard-working girl.
Apparently there is no Committee or Association for looking after these young girls when they go on tour like this.  She is just 21.
I wonder if you could possibly find time perhaps to ask her to your house one Sunday and be a sort of mother to her in case she wants any help or advice?  It would be most kind of you.  You need not go to her pantomime if you do not want to!!
She is a very nice child - modest and hardworking.
Yours sincerely,

R. Vaughan Williams

1. According to UVW the VWs employed Mrs Jancke as a cook and had paid for Erica's training at Drama School. See also VWL2159.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add. MS 71536, f. 36
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Original database number: