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Can anyone give me information about Lockhart’s Circus? I know they were related to the Ginette’s and the Pinders and I believe the SA singer was Eve Boswell. The Lockhart’s had a speciality act using elephants, a book, The Grey Titan was written about them. It is rumoured that they introduced shooting a man from a cannon to the British public. I would be most grateful for any information about this circus family.

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06 June 2007 – Regarding Eve Boswell 1924 – 1998 : (from her obituary written by Denis Gifford).

She was born Eva Keleti, in Budapest, in 1924, the only daughter of a professional pair who toured the world with their musical act. Educated in Lausanne, Switzerland, she studied classical piano at the famous Lausanne Academy before joining her parents as a teenager. When the Second World War was declared in September 1939 the act was on tour in England. The family was classified as alien, so, taking a job with the Boswell Circus, they promptly departed for a tour of South Africa. Here Trevor McIntosh, the stepson of one the owners (Syd Boswell), taught Eve to speak English, and the two fell in love. In time they married. It was Trevor McIntosh who encouraged the girl to sing and to change her name to Eve Boswell, after his stepfather’s circus. Geraldo (Gerald Bright), then the top dance band leader, heard them, liked them and sent the girl a telegram offering her three months work. Eve, Trevor and their small son Michael promptly sold up their African homestead and sailed for England. She opened with Geraldo at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on 1 June 1949. That was the end of her connection to Boswell’s Circus. She had no connection to Lockharts that I know of.

Regarding Lockharts: I don’t know anything about a “Lockart’s Circus” but their ‘Cruet Elephants’ were famous (and dangerous) George Lockhart Snr. (1849/1904) who was killed by the elephant ‘Sauce’ when the Cruets stampeded at Walthamstow Goodsyard, Hoe Street Station, Walthamstow, London on 24th January 1904.

George was Samuel Lockart’s (1850-1933) brother. John Turner has entries for all the Lockarts in his ‘Victorian Arena’ Vol 1 & 2 but no mention of them having a circus of their own? Try posting at John Turner’s forum http://pub34.bravenet.com/forum/2891452389 and maybe John will re-post his Lockart entries for you?

Jim and Jamie Clubb (www.mazinganimals.co.uk) are writing a book about ‘The Cruets’ and can tell you a lot about Lockarts. The ‘Boswell confusion’ may come from the fact that George Lockart Jnr (1883 – 1979) married Rebecca (Becky) Boswell [daughter of South African Circus founder James C Boswell and his wife Louisa (nee Powell)].

I would like to see any photos you cared to share of Lockarts elephants, my email is ndlovu8@gmail.com. Kind regards, Jim Stockley, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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I also would like any information about this circus. Samual Lockhart was my great great uncle. I have pictures of my grandfather at age 15 sitting on one of his elephants. I would greatly appreciate any and all information you may have.

Thank you, Norah Nelson

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If anyone does have more information on singer Eve Boswell’s participation in this circus please let me know. Thank you.

Neil Kellas

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