Daily Graphic Obituary
Obituary in "The Daily Graphic" Tuesday April 22 1947
REJECTED BY ARMY WROTE MADEMOISELLE FROM ARMENTIERES
By Graphic Reporter
Go away and write songs they told him when he went to a recruiting office at the beginning of World War I, So he went away and wrote songs that went round the world. Among them was "Mademoiselle from Armentieres" which he composed at the request of his three sons who were serving in France.
His own sons and millions of other soldiers marched to it in retreat and victory.
And now Alfred James Walden, who, under the pen-name of Henry Wincott, wrote and composed that song and 20,000 others, has died, aged 80, in Yeovil Public Assistance Institution.
He went there when he was taken ill in February because there were no beds available at the local hospital.
He composed and wrote songs for Vesta Tilley, Marie Lloyd, The Great Vance, Dan Leno, Little Tich, Harry Champion, Florrie Forde, Kate Cartney, and Charlie Chaplin's father.
His greatest hits included "Any Old Iron," "The Broker's Man," and "The Old Dun Cow Caught Fire."
But during 50 years as a song writer, in which he composed as many as seven songs a day, he seldom received more than £10 for his compositions.
Wrote Songs in Ledger
Singers and publishers of his songs made fortunes, while he made barely enough to live on.
One song, "Can't Stop, Can't Stop," which he sold for a guinea netted £7,000 worth of contracts on the halls.
"When you know the way, it's easy," he sang, but he found men who were cleverer. He starved for a long time until one of his songs was sold for £4, and sung by Vesta Tilley.
At the age of 19 he got a job as a ledger clerk, but was dismissed for writing songs in the ledger.