The Unknown Warriors

ENSA Singer - Betty Driver

On the 15th October 2011, Betty Driver died aged 91. For decades she played a Rovers Return barmaid on Coronation Street, making her one of the most recognisable faces in Britain, after more than 2,800 episodes. She had originally auditioned for the part of Hilda Ogden, but did not get the role.

 

What is less well known is her acting and singing career had begun many years before she appeared on Coronation Street. Her mother was very pushy and was determined to make Betty and her sister a success on the stage. She starred in British films in the 1930's including one's alongside George Formby.

 

In November 1940 she was sharing a dressing room with a young Julie Andrews when the huge blitz on Coventry began. She joined ENSA, and travelled all over Europe fronting Henry Hall's band to sing to the troops and help raise morale.

 

Here she is singing one of her most popular wartime songs, The World Will Sing Again.