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Ted Desmond stayed behind in Britain and formed a band.
Heart-warming letters and photos Stan Laurel sent his first comedy sidekick who he stayed friends with after forming his iconic double-act with Oliver Hardy have emerged.
Ted Desmond and Laurel, known then by his real name Stan Jefferson, briefly worked together on tour in Netherlands and Belgium in 1912 but they parted ways when Laurel was offered a spot in an American touring troupe.
It would have been easy for Laurel to forget his first, short-lived sidekick, or for Ted to have been jealous of his success with another comic.
But, touchingly, they remained firm friends and Laurel sent Ted and his wife Gertrude various letters and photos over the next 40 years.