Rita Webb's beloved brother Henry Richard Webb was born on Sunday 4th February 1906 at 12 William Street Leytonstone at that time the family consisted of his Mother Rose, Father Henry Augustus (known as Gus) and older sister Olive (Rita) as well as his elder twin half brothers Leslie and Joseph Durlacher from his Mother's previous marriage to a man named Samuel Durlacher.

 

Henry was too young to remember his mother who died of cancer five months after his second birthday on Friday 26th June 1908 when the family were living at 8 Hurbutt Cottages, Newington Butts (not far from Elephant and castle) after his mother's death the twins were sent to live with their grandmother Juila Kyezor, while Rita and Henry stayed with their father (the pair would never see their twin brothers again)

 

Henry did not get on well with his father Gus. Gus it was believed was an alcoholic, and Henry had very bad memories of being carted along to the pub with him and then made to sit outside until his father was ready to go home, often some hours later. Gus was always short of money so he would sell lantern wicks in the pubs. He took Henry with him and if he failed to make a sale, Henry was sent in, in the hope that people would buy from a child what they would not buy from an adult.

When Henry was five years old His father married his new wife Gertrude Bolingbroke on Saturday September 9th 1911 and he and his sister Rita did not get on with their step mother and were treated cruelly. Henry, whilst still very young, eventually moved in with his grandma Rosa Webb whom he stayed with until her death in 1924. (Henry is listed with Rosa on the census taken on Sunday 2nd April 1911 at 15 Buckley Road, Brondesbury Kilburn ) interestingly so is his Uncle (Gus's brother) Richard Lewis Webb and a 27 year old boarder named Kate Bolingbroke who was none other than Gus's future wife's sister, who in turn would marry his brother Richard Lewis Webb! is this how Gert and Gus met originally? note the absence of both Henry & Rita at their Father's second marriage in the photo to the right.

Henry & friend 1939

Gus died on Saturday 21st August 1926 what Henry did in the years before his death is a mystery, we do know that he lost his arm from blood poisoning when he was in his early twenties at that time he was a builder by trade but after being in hospital for almost 4 years he became an actor. Henry and his sister were extremely close, and it was he who first kindled her interest in the theatre.Henry was a founding member of Unity Theatre in London and acted in numerous plays there over a period of many years. Largely self-taught, his depth of knowledge and literary prowess made him a sought after companion by many prominent people. He counted amongst his close friends, the writer, Ted (later Lord) Willis, Sir Bernard Miles (the founder of London's Mermaid Theatre) the actor, Alfie Bass and BBC radio producer, Reggie Smith who was to give Henry much of his radio work.

Henry (holding dog) with Thommie's father & sister in 1926

In 1949 he married Joan Parker a table chef, they had met around 1945 after being introduced by Rita. Joan and friend rented a room from Henry at 127 Maida Vale and they were married 4 years later on 3rd December 1949 at Essex registry Office, he was 43 and Joan was 23.They had three children Louis Josephine born in 1951, Richard Henry Born in 1953 and Geraldine Margaret born in 1954.The family would eventually live at 265 Trinity Road, where they spent many happy years.

Henry was a life-long socialist and he and Reggie Smith forged their friendship whilst in the Communist Party together in the 1930's. Henry's acting career was undoubtedly limited by the loss of his left arm during this period but he never gave up hope on his acting career. He worked on building sites and the like in between theatre work, and eventually got bit parts in films.
In 1944 while living at Lauderdale Mansions he began to write to the BBC radio department. An avid letter writer Henry wrote many letters to producers for work, eventually getting his first radio work five years later. His first TV work came in 1955 with a walk on part in the "Ted Ray Show".

Geraldine, Louise & Richard

After his sister Rita died in 1981 Henry followed the rest of his family and emigrated to Tasmania, Australia. Where he lived until his death on 25th October 1990, he was 84 years old.Henry's family still live in Australia.

 

Joan lives in Tasmania, while her children live in Sydney. Louise and partner David have two children Joe  and Vinnie . Brother Richard has no children. and Geraldine who married Steve Lewis in 1978 have daughters Hana & Sophie  and son Greg .

In 2002 the Webbs were to meet their long-lost family the Durlacher's (Now Dale) and Kyezor ancestors. The gathering took place in Sydney Australia! see the Foreword page for more details.

Happy times! Henry with Jeffie,Rita & Joan Xmas 1977 and Henry & rita larking about in 1980

THEATRE

Buster-13/07/1943 as Mr Carter The Lodger (play by Ted Willis) Alfie Bass as "Buster"
They Also Serve-Bernard Miles tour

Pygmalion-Doolittle-1944, toured, John Forbe Russell production

French Leave-1944 as cpl Jones & General Root

Ghost Train-1944 as Hodgkin (Station Master)

Outward Bound-1944 as Lingley

Bird in Hand-arts Council

Rep-Basingstoke, Greenwich and Henley

This happy breed-Guest artist

Captain Brassbound Conversion-Company of four, Lyric Hammersmith, U/S Malcolm Russell (drinkwater) 1948/49

Eastbourne Rep-3 weeks prior to xmas 1949

Rep-May 1951

Henry in "Pygmalion" 1944 

FILM

Henry in "Jazz Boat" 1960

British National film for Elstree 1944 as Factory Foreman

A Run for your Money-Ealing, bit part 1949, Charles Frend

Pool of London-1951, speaking part, Basil Dearden

The Brain Machine-1956, Dir; Ken Hughes, as Caretaker

Jazz Boat-1960, Dir; Ken Hughes, as barm

TELEVISION

Scotland Yard reporter-Ted Kavanagh (filmed for TV)-1949

Scotland Yard:The Dark Stairway-Mar 1954, as old lag, Ken Hughes 

Scotland Yard: Night Plane To Amsterdam- Jan 1955 ,Ken Hughes

The Ted Ray show-13.08.55, Stooge (cutting in and demanding ball back), BBC

Mrs Vickers in the fall-08.09.57, BBC

The Diary of Samuel Pepe: EP10-16.05.58, walk on, BBC

Alfies Penny Gaff-09.07.58, Take part, BBC

Crime Report-14.08.58, as Old Sam, BBCOutside-19.02.59 as Vagrant, BBC

Private Investigation: prt1-12.11.59, as caretaker (in film sequence), BBC

The Bergonzi Hand-27.01.63 (Rec) as Attendant at BMA, BBC

The Four Seasons Of Rosie Carr: 3rd Play-23.06.64, BBC

Three Clear Sundays-as Sam Gold, BBC

The Great Metropolis-24.01.66 (Rec), BBC

Cathy Come Home-19.05.66 (Rec), BBC

Colette-05.11.66 (Offer) as respectable gentleman, BBC

Trouble Shooters: EP4-12.01.67 (Rec) as gate man, BBC

Jobs For All-April 1949

Wednesday Matinee: The Mysterious Joe Latimer -15.02.50 as Sam Oakes

Curtain Up: The strange Case Of Blondie white- 04.10.50 as Smith

Glass Houses: 4-02.12.50

Glass Houses: 5 -09.12.50

Britain At Home 05.03.51

Potances March Concert-08.05.51

It's Dogged As Does It-07.05.52, PR: A Campbell

Special Duty: Railway Breakdown Gang-02.10.52, R Smith

Special Duty: Rescue by lifeboat-16.10.52, R Smith

Special Duty: Pit Rescue Service -24.10.52,R Smith

The World My Parish (Portrait of John Wesley)-16.06.53, R Smith 

Special Duty: no3 A Child is missing-25.06.53, R Smith

Elizabethan Theatre: no2 Faustus thou art damned-29.07.53, R Smith

Elizabethan Theatre: no7 Faction of Fools-07.08.53, R Smith

A Trip To Scotland-10.09.53, R Smith

Elizabethan Theatre no:9-14.09.53,R Smith

Special Duty: Fire At Sea-22.12.53, R Smith

Special Duty: Dragnet for a kid -14.01.54,R Smith

The Shoemakers Holiday-16.02.54, R Smith

Little Pig Robinson-31.03.54, R Smith

Special Duty: -17.06.54, R Smith

Danton's Death-11.07.54, R Smith

Saturday Matinee Double Bill: Keeping Up Appearances and Maiden Over- 21.01.55, R Smith

The Pity Of Love-07.04.55, R Smith

Mayhew Readings 1-11.07.55

Mayhew Readings 2-16.07.55,D Cleveland

The Pity Of Love -26.09.55, Grafton Restoration Theatre:

The provoked Wife- 05.04.56, R Smith

Saturday night Theatre: The devil is driving-13.10.56, R Smith

July the fourteenth-5/6.06.57(Rec), R Smith

She'll Make Trouble-12.12.58, R Smith

An Unbroken Chain-25.09.64, R Smith

The Tip Off-10.04.65, R Smith

The Life Of Kaggs-22.04.65 (Rec), R Smith

World Of the Young 4 -14.09.65, R Smith

Paradise for a Painter 5-14.09.65, R Smith

Return Visit-17.10.65, R Smith 

Return Visit-17.10.65, R Smith

Henry V-25.10.65, R Smith

Birds Ain't worth the Trouble-02.02.66, R Smith

Afternoon Theatre: They Belong to Me-20.04.66, R Smith

Knock on the Moon-03.12.66, R Smith

The Tower of London: 4, 9,11-15/23/27.02 (Rec) R Smith

Deliberate Adventure-01.08.68, R Smith

The Cloister and the Hearth ep1-02.02.69,R Smith

The Stiff Line-11.04.70, R Smith

The Death Chop-13.06.70, R Smith

Mr Crockford-22.06.71, R SmithBarney-30.08.72, R Smith

Barney-30.08.72, R Smith

RADIO

Henry in "The Brain Machine" 1956

Joan and Henry on their wedding day in 1949

The Stage 1943

Information & Photo copyright Geraldine Lewis, Louise Webb, Joan Webb, and Richard Webb
additional research Aaron Smith
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.

Henry Richard Webb

(1906-1990)