Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

The Rejane Matinee – The Illustrated London News – Saturday 7th October 1911






PARIS, September 23 1911

Further details of the terrible disaster which has befallen the French Navy show that the first reports were in no way exaggerated, and that, in addition to the loss of the fine warship Liberté, in Toulon Harbour, and the loss of several hundred lives, other vessels of the French Mediterranean squadron suffered injury, and numbers of their crews were either killed or injured.

When the fire broke out in the ammunition hold of the Liberte, and the first explosion occurred, little danger was apprehended. Then the fire gained, and reached the fore ammunition hold. Another explosion followed, and on this occurring 100 men who were on deck jumped overboard. The rest of the crew, who were asleep below, were awakened by the explosion, and rushed on deck. They wore about to jump overboard, but were ordered to their stations.

Four explosions followed the first in quick succession. The vessel in the forward part became wrapped in a sheet of flame, which rose to a considerable height. Then the fifth explosion occurred, and after it the vessel sank like a stone.

Hundreds of men were hurled into the air in the final explosion; and it is believed were dead before they reached the water.

Dense volumes of smoke, which enveloped the roadstead of the harbour were rising, but when they had cleared a part of the hull only of the ill-fated battleship was seen still above the water, surrounded by a tangled mass of spars and wreckage.

A number of injured men were seen clinging to the wreckage, and assistance was promptly sent to them from the other warships in the harbour.

At the time of the disaster the Liberte was in charge of Captain Joubert, Commander Jaurès, who is a brother of M. Jean Jaurès, the leader of the French Socialists in the Chamber of Deputies, being absent on furlough.

Three hundred and fifty officers and men belonging to the Liberte are missing, and 100 sailors from the other warships. In addition to this loss of 450, a number of men who went to the rescue of their comrades on the destroyed vessel lost their lives.

Anchored close to the Liberte were the République, 14,635 tons, and her sister battleships the Democratic and the Verite each of 14,640 tons. The flying debris caused by the explosion struck the Republique, and many of the members of her crew were killed. So far, 50 men on that vessel have been lost. The Democratic and Verite were also badly damaged, and they lost 20 in killed and 50 were injured. The Republique was so badly damaged that she had to be hurriedly docked.

The Mercury, Wednesday September 27, 1911





For the special matinee arranged to be given at the Hippodrome on Friday, the 6th, and organised by Mme. Rejane, in aid of the sufferers by the Liberte disaster at Toulon, a very strong programme was prepared, including about forty special turns, together with some items from the current Hippodrome entertainment. All of the leading actors and actresses who were in a position to do so gave their services, and many distinguished people gave their patronage to the occasion. It was expected that the royal box would be occupied by the French Ambassador, another by the Italian Ambassador, and a third by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. Forty popular actresses acted as programme-sellers.

The Illustrated London News – Saturday 7th October 1911

The Rejane Matinee.


The programme arranged for the Rejane Matinee in aid of the Liberte sufferers should easily attract an overflowing audience to the Hippodrome on Friday afternoon. In addition to Mme. Rejane and Leoncavallo, who will conduct a special selection, the following have promised to appear : Miss Lily Brayton and Mr. Oscar Asche (scenes from “Kismet”); Miss Margaret Cooper (at the piano); Miss Phyllis Dare and Mr. G. Grossmith, jun. (duet from “Peggy”); Mr. George Carvey (song); Miss Cicely Courtneidge (scene from “Mousme”); Miss Clara Evelyn (the Espinosa Waltz song); Mlle. Adeline Genee; Miss Evie Greene; Miss Gertie Millar and Mr. Joseph Coyne (dancing duet, from the “Quaker Girl”); Miss Gabrielle Ray (song from “Peggy”); Miss Florence Smithson (song from the “Mousme”); Miss Cecilia Loftus; Miss Irene Vanbrugh and Mr. Gerald du Maurier (sketch, “A Slice of Life”); Miss Ethel Levey (coon songs); Miss Marie Tempest; Miss Phyllis Neilson-Terry (song); Miss Violet Vanbrugh (recitation); Sir George Alexander (recitation); Mr. Albert Chevalier (selection of songs); Mr. W. H. Barry (selection); Sir John Hare; Mr. Alfred Lester (sketch); Miss Lily Elsie and Mr. Huntley Wright (duet); Miss Connie Ediss (song) ; Mr. George Graves; Mr. Harry Tate, in “Motoring

The Music Hall and Theatre Review – Thursday 5th October 1911

Rejane Matinee Result.


Over nine hundred pounds was raised for the benefit of the sufferers by the Liberte disaster through the matinee at the Hippodrome on Friday, thanks to the energies of Mme. Rejane and the managerial staff of the house. The result was announced by Sir Herbert Tree.


Music Hall and Theatre Review – Thursday 12th October 1911

August 21, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment