WEBSTER BOOTH – TIME LINE – 1940 – 1949

Messiah

22 March 1940 in Queen’s Hall, London
Good Friday Messiah. Royal Choral Society with Elsie Suddaby, Muriel Brunskill, Webster Booth, Robert Easton. Conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
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Gala Variety Performance

Because of the war this show replaced the traditional Royal Command Performance.The concert was in aid of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund.
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Messiah

22 December 1940 in Hallé Concert Society, Manchester
Webster Booth was tenor soloist at this concert, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Later that night a big bombing raid destroyed the Free Trade Hall.
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Dream of Gerontius (Elgar)

10 May 1941 in Queen’s Hall, London
Webster Booth, Muriel Brunskill and Ronald Stear were soloists in an afternoon performance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. That night a single incendiary bomb gutted the Queen’s Hall.
Paddy Prior, second wife of Webster Booth (tenor) 1902-1984 entertaining troops during World War 2. — in London, United Kingdom.

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Photo: Paddy Prior, second wife of Webster Booth (tenor) 1902-1984 entertaining troops during World War 2.
Paddy Prior, Webster Booth’s second wife who divorced him in 1938, entertains troops as a member of ENSA during the war.

Death of Sarah Booth, Webster’s mother

Webster and Anne had sung at Golders Green Hippodrome in “Clap Your Hands and Smile” with Charlie Kunz and others from 1 November 1943. Webster’s mother died (aged 80) during that week.
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Good Friday Messiah

Webster Booth sang in another Good Friday Messiah at the Albert Hall with soloists Isobel Baillie, Mary Jarred and Henry Cummings, conducted by Malcolm Sargent. In 1940 he and Anne Ziegler began touring in Variety as duettists and it is clear that he did not do as much serious singing because of this.
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Edwin Booth remarries.

In 1947 Edwin Booth married Irene Constance Louise Coles, who was born in Bristol in 1902, a few months younger than Webster. After Edwin Booth’s death, Irene continued to attend Webster and Anne’s concerts in Birmingham. The census form shows the Coles family in 1911 when Irene was 9 years old.
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Funeral of Tommy Handley

Members of Savage Club formed choir which included Webster Booth, Parry Jones, Walter Midgley, Dennis Noble, Frederic Gregory, George James & Edward Dykes. They sang “The Long Day Closes” by Arthur Sullivan.
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Funeral of Tommy Handley at Golders Green Crematorium January 1949. Webster Booth was singing in choir with other Savage Club singers. — with Trefor Jones at Golders Green Crematorium.

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Good Reads Book Reviews

The Moon And SixpenceThe Moon And Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Apparently Strickland was based on the artist Paul Gauguin, but if this was the case, there is a very loose connection between the two for this in not a novel a clef. The book held my interest while the narrator had personal contact with Strickland and his wife. Almost from the beginning of the novel, before Charles Strickland had appeared, I thought him a thoroughly reprehensible character.

Admittedly his wife was not an imaginative woman and used her established position in society to cultivate the society of writers and artists although she appeared to be devoid of any artistic talent herself. She obviously regarded her "dull" husband as nothing more than a meal-ticket and she had never encouraged his artistic inclinations. It is only after he leaves her to her own devices that she manages to pull herself together, fend for herself and look after her children without being dependent on a man any longer.

The portrait of a completely self-centred, inarticulate Strickland, who does not care about the opinion of others was well-drawn but after the narrator is no longer in personal contact with Strickland and the rest of the story of Strickland's life is related to him by a third person the story is less satisfactory. I have to admit that I did not finish the last fifty pages of the book. Although I like Maugham's work, this was not my favourite Maugham novel.

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