Henry Augustus Webb
2nd January 1880 - 21st August 1926

Gus and pal in the Boar war
Rita's cherished photograph of her Father
Gus at a family wedding
Rita Webb's Father, Henry Augustus Webb, known to all as "Gus" was born on Friday 2nd January 1880 at Tracey Villa, Iverson Road, Hampstead. His father Henry Richard Webb was a Dentist and married Gus's Mother Rosa Jane Cane in Islington at the Parish Church on 28th April 1873 (Gus was 20 when his father died aged 53 on 30th March 1900 of chronic asthma and acute bronchitis.)
A rare picture of The Webbs together circa 1896

Gus was a young man when he fought in the Boar war with his Brothers, Richard and George. He was a Private in the 30th Battalion and spent 321 days in the army, 200 of which were spent abroad.

He was discharged on 8th January 1902 and his discharge was confirmed at Malmesbury, Cape Colony on 24th November 1902. His height was listed as 5 '4" and his occupation was listed as a clerk.

Less than a year later Gus married Rose Jeannette Durlacher a divorcee who had seven year old twins Leslie & Gordon by a previous marriage.

Rose was pregnant with their first child by the time they married at Hendon registry office on 18th July 1903. (Rose bore him a daughter Olive (Rita) and 2 years later a son Henry Richard.) The marriage it seems was a happy one, but the ill wind of fate would shatter what happiness the couple had two years after their second child was born.

Rita's Mother Rose Jeannette Webb

In 1908 Rose died of cancer, Gus was 28 years old and left alone with four children to look after. The twins were sent to live with their grandma Julia Kyezor while Gus kept his own children Henry and Olive.

Four months after Rose's death Gus travelled to Australia with the merchant navy. He remarried three years later while the family lived at 36 Tavistock Crescent, Bayswater. The wedding took place on 7th September 1911 at St Michael's church in Pirbright, Surrey.

Gus in 1911 marrying for the second time to Gertrude Bolingborke

Gus's new bride was 30 year old Gertrude Bolingbroke (nick named Billy) a milliner and spinster who's father Alfred Bolingbroke was a sculptor. At this stage Gus is listed as being a steward. (It is not known where the family settled after the marriage, but they probably lived in London, possibly in Lambeth.) the couple had three children, George Augustus Webb, born on 6th March 1912 at 41 St Luke’s Road, Paddington (He would have a certain amount of fame later in life playing the non-speaking role of Daddy in "Keeping Up Appearances" George died on 30th December 1998 and had one son, Michael) the next child born to Gus and Gert was the ill fated Denis Alfred Webb on 21st September 1913, poor Denis died in tragic circumstances in 1918 when he was picking flowers for his mother he was run over by an army car, still clutching the flowers in his hand he died under the wheels of the car witnessed by his Brother and sister (something they never got over) The final child born was Joan Webb on 11th August 1915 (she would marry three times and have one daughter Judith) Joan committed suicide in 1989 after years of ill health

Gus (seated front row far right) at the 1913 wedding of Gert's sister Daisy

Gus also fought in the great war (1914 - 1918) where he was badly gassed. In October 1919 he travelled to the west Indies returning in December the same year. He made one last voyage with the Navy in 1920 when he was 40 years old.

It’s been said that Gus was a heavy drinker who took his two step sons and his own son around the local pubs, making them wait outside for hours at a time forcing them to sell lantern wicks. Henry Webb wasn’t keen on his father, but Olive (Rita) adored her father, whom she called “My Darling Dada” , at some point in their Marriage Gert and Gus parted ways (there are family stories of Gus completely naked chasing after Gertrude down the street) .and it seems he lived the remainder of his life alone.

Gert with Denis, Joan and George

Gus's mother Rosa died on 18th July 1924 at New End hospital at the age of 77. Two years later his daughter Rita married and six months after this event Gus was sent to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington where he died of heart failure on 21st August 1926. He was buried in an unmarked grave at Willesden cemetery.

Rita can be seen behind the bride, her half sister Joan's first marriage in 1935



On a foot note Gus's sister Ethel was a colourful character, who lived a bright and exciting life. She was born Ethel Mina Webb on 4th August 1887, the youngest of five children to Henry Richard Webb and Rosa Jane Webb, Ethel was the last of her siblings to leave home, it is believed that the same Ethel Webb and Rosa Webb resident at 41 Dynham road, Hampstead, listed on the 1901 census are Rita's aunt Ethel and paternal grandmother Rosa. If this is Ethel she was working aged 15 as an assistant in a confectioners shop, although it is believed Ethel worked as a Manicurist in a barbershop at a young age, this is where the widowed Charles Archibald Samuells, a retired Judge, first met her, he was 40 years her senior and they married in 1908 in Hendon, Ethel had a long term relationship with Archie’s Nephew, Major Richard Brocksopp (Brockie) Archie was in full knowledge of his wife’s infidelity, and the three travelled around the world together, living for many years all over Europe, Ethel who is mentiond in the autobigraphy of Mr Justice Humphreys was also a gaiety girl from 1904 to 1918, under the name of Estelle, and a male impersonator too!
Ethel and Archie had no children, and doted on her sister May's children (Gladys and Barbara) instead of Gus's children (Rita and Henry) it was Ethel who paid for a head stone when her mother Rosa died in 1924.

In 1931 Archie died in the South of France, Eventually Ethel settled in South Africa, she made her final will and testament there in 1954 leaving most of her money to charity, she died on 3rd December 1954 in South Africa, Ethel left behind a stack of memories from her life including a scrapbook diary of pictures, postcards and comments some of which are included on this page



Gus's younger brother Dick (born Richard Lewis Webb-6th July 1882) was an electrical engineer who married Gus's second wife’s sister Kate (Kit) Bolingbroke on 5th August 1912 at St Cuthbert’s Church, Hampstead.

Dick was a witness at Gus's first marriage to Rose Durlacher in 1903, he was also present at Kit's sister Daisy's wedding in 1918 (signing his name Richard Louis Webb)

Eight years after they married the couple had a child, a boy they named Luke Webb, born 27th July 1920, he died in tragic circumstances on 22nd March 1922 when he crawled unnoticed out into the snow and died of hypothermia.

In 1924 Dick was in attendance at his Mother Rosa's death, and the imformant at Gus's death in 1926, his address for these events were 10 Lee Terrace, Blackheath, he was also present with Kit at Rita's half sister Joan's wedding in 1935 He liked wearing a boater, like his father Henry R, he also smoked heavily.

Dick and Kit were married for 42 years when he died on 14th February 1954, Kit followed him to his grave five years later when she died on 14th June 1959

Gus's brother George married a woman named Mary Lydia Marshall, known as Lyddie (who was Vester Tilley's understudy and died in her 90's), George never returned from the Boar War- at least not for seven years, when Lyddie put a notice in the Times of her intention to remarry. He was listed missing presumed dead. Apparently he had been living in South Africa and had a family there-he reappeared before WW1 and tried to blackmail Lyddie. The couple had two daughters together, Gladys Maud Webb (who would marry a man named William Victor Sherwell, at some point they emigrated to Canada, having at least one daughter they named Pauline and she married a man named Christopher Nunn and they had two daughters Jill and Jane Nunn) the second daughter born to George and Lyddie was Irene Muriel Webb (Renee) on 26th March 1902
Gus's oldest sister was born Mary Ann Margaret Elizabeth Webb in Islington in 1874, although the family called her May, May married a man named Charles William Frederick Hewitt (1868) at the Holy Trinity church in Kilburn on 14th July 1894. They had at least seven children, daughters Irene Florence (1895)and Barbara (1900) whom their aunt Ethel took abroad several times, the other known children were Hilda Mary (1899), Dorothy Margaret (1897) , Kathleen Elsie (1902) , Beatrice (1904) and son Charles Henry (1907) in 1901 they were living at 70 sprinfield Rdand by 1911 they had moved to 99 Broady, Leigh-on-sea in rochford, near prittlefied.

Pictures copyright of Geraldine Lewis, Louise Webb, Judith Howard, Allan and Marg Dale

These images are the exclusive ownership of the copyright holders and are strictly prohibited from being reproduced, copied or used by any individual anywhere else other than this website.