Rita Webb's half twin brothers Leslie Joseph
Durlacher and Gordon Louis Durlacher were born on 24th March 1896
at 41 Sutherland Avenue to parents Rose Jeannette and Samuel Durlacher.
Gordon was born at 3:30pm, Grandama Julia was present at the births.
At a young age the twins were told that their father had died.
They would never learn the truth that their father was actually
still alive (and was living in Germany where he eventually remarried
and had 5 children some years later.)
Their mother Rose eventually remarried a man named Henry Augustus
Webb and bore him two children. Daughter Olive (Rita) and son
The twins it seemed were inseprable and they enjoyed sports and
outdoor activities, especially soccer. they were one of the first
children to enjoy the newly set up scouts club in Hampstead and
had a public school education.
In 1908 their mother died of Cancer and they were sent to live
with their grandma Julia.While their stepfather kept Rita and
Henry. (The twins were never to see them again.)
What life was like for the young boys growing up
believing they were orphans is unclear. They both joined the army
in 1915 with Leslie signing up in Australia (after working on
farms and visiting relatives there)he served in Egypt and France.While
Gordon signed up in Britain.Serving in France, where he was shot
in the arm, but survived by swimming the river Somme. In later
years he would insist that his children learn to swim as his ability
to swim had saved his life! The boys met up in Paris while serving
in the war and had their photograph taken in full uniform.
Leslie who was 5ft 2in tall with brown eyes and light brown hair
died of Bronchil Pneumonia on 16th February 1919 while in the
1st Australian Hospital, Warminster.
His funeral was held at the United Synagogue Jewish
cemetery in Willesden where his grandma Julia was also buried
(she had died aged 84 on 29th March 1917 in her
home at 10 Cambridge gardens)
In 1926 Gordon traced his brothers footsteps back to Canada and
Australlia meeting many of the people Leslie had talked about
on his travels.
On the boat back home to England Gordon met Elizabeth McCarthy
whom he would later emigrate with to Australia and marry on 13th
February 1928 in Melbourne.
The couple had 3 sons and a daughter. Doris Elizabeth in 1929,
Leslie John in 1931, Richard Brian in1933 and Allan Arthur in
In 1947 the family changed their Durlacher surname to Dale. Gordon
Louis died aged 59 in 1956 and his children, Grandchildren and
great Grandchildren all still live in Australia.
Information & Photo copyright
go to Marg and Allan Dale, Geraldine Lewis, Louise Webb, Keira
and Merav Schejtman
These images are the exclusive ownership of the copyright holders
and are strictly prohibited from being reproduced, copied or used
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