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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 September, 2003, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Plaque marks comic's time in forces
Norman Wisdom was urged to turn professional in Cheltenham
Sir Norman Wisdom's time in the armed forces in Gloucestershire is being marked by a plaque.

Dozens of fans gathered for the ceremony at the Carlton Hotel in Cheltenham on Saturday.

Sir Norman entertained the crowds with amusing stories before unveiling the circular blue plaque.

The entertainer served in the Royal Corps of Signals at the Moray House Hotel, now the Carlton Hotel, from 1943-5.

While billeted in the town, Sir Norman was known for his musical prowess and fronted a dance band which played at local hospitals and bases.

In his biography, Don't Laugh at Me, he recalls a charity concert at Cheltenham Town Hall after which Rex Harrison came backstage and urged him to turn professional.

This is the 30th commemorative plaque erected by Cheltenham Civic Society since the early 1980s.

Chairman John Henry said: "Sir Norman still visits Cheltenham on a regular basis and this plaque will serve as a permanent reminder of his close associations with the town."

There is also a plaque commemorating Cheltenham-born rock musician Brian Jones' links with the town.


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