The Green Room Plaque was "found" and photographed when
it came up for auction in a Sale Room in Rugby,
Warwickshire, in 2009. The Plaque commemorates
twelve actor members of the Green Room Club who died in
Since that date, considerable
research has been undertaken, using family history
sources, military archives and contemporary newspapers
in UK and USA, to find the stories of these
actors, their backgrounds, careers and military service.
In the process some of their relatives have been traced
and provided with copies of the information acquired.
Some research was also carried out by members the
Great War Forum, who were sent a
copy of another photograph of the plaque; their help
with military history matters has been invaluable, and
they have allowed their findings to supplement the
findings of this project.
Room Club was a
Named for the Green Rooms at theatres where actors relax
when not on stage.
The club was
inaugurated on 21 July
Since then it has moved several times:
1903 it was at
46 Leicester Square,
and that year
Claude Monet painted
from the Green Room balcony.
The Club remained there
until 1940, when bomb damage made the club unusable and
it moved to Whitcomb Street.
During that later period the members included Sir
Ralph Richardson and Sir Laurence Olivier.
The memorial brass was sculpted by
Ferdinand Victor Blundstone [1882-1951] who also
designed several other memorials including the
Plimsoll Monument on the
and war memorials at
Stalybridge and for the Prudential
Assurance, Holborn. With Joseph Armitage,
provided the sculptural work for the Tyne Cot Memorial
which forms the north-east boundary of the
The details of the Memorial have been provided to the
Archive, formerly the UK National Inventory of War
Memorials, which is coordinated by a Projects Officer at
the Imperial War
An illustrated Booklet about the
sculptor, the plaque and the twelve actors commemorated
has now been published (ISBN: 978-0-9563350-6-7) and
supports the illustrated talk on the
Green Room Plaque.
The booklet is available
from the author.
Further details can be obtained from:- John
THE ACTORS COMMEMORATED
Twelve actors are named on the plaque, ten officers and
This perhaps reflects upon the standing and leadership
qualities of these members of the acting profession.
They are listed below, as
named on, and in the order of their deaths, as listed on
the plaque, together with some brief details of their
lives and military service.
L/Cpl. Lionel Mackinder d. 1915
Born in about 1869, he seemed to be easily researched
until it came to finding details of his early days.
Lionel Mackinder proved to be a stage name for
Edward Stephen Harris.
In the 1890s he ran his own touring company and
married actress Gracie Leigh,
also a stage name for
Grace Ellis, the daughter of a well known marine artist.
He performed in many light musicals from 1895 to
1914, many, such as
and Our Miss
Gibbs; with management
Mr. Edwardes at the Gaiety.
He was ... one of the first actors to enlist on the
outbreak of war, and had a toupee fitted to his bald
patch and took fifteen years off his age!
He joined the Berkshire Regiment, going to
in November 1914. He was proposed by his own
company for a Captaincy, but was shot in the throat by a
sniper and killed at Festubert before this unusual
promotion could take place.
He is buried at the Le
Touret military cemetery,
Saker d. 1915
Born in Liverpool in
about 1881, he was a
member of an acting family, he worked as an actor from
the age of thirteen.
In 1904 joined the army, being
Lieutenant in the Connaught
Rangers, later retiring to the reserve and acting again
from about 1910.
He had rejoined and been promoted Captain by
September 1914 and
was killed in First Battle of Ypres at
Belgium, on the
very first days of that offensive, probably on the 30
The plaque states
1915 which was when his death was officially announced
as it was thought he was a prisoner; much official
correspondence ensued to sort out his pay made after his
actual death, his gratuity, and the pension for his wife.
Capt. A Holmes-Gore d. 1915
- Born in 1871, he qualified as a solicitor, but found
that profession offended his socialist principles!
He turned to acting and directing, and was very
successful, both on the stage and for movies in UK and USA. Returning to England
to make The
Prisoner of Zenda in 1915, he
studied and trained with the United Arts Service Rifles
and gained a commission as
a Captain with the 1/8th Hampshire Regiment.
He was landed at Gallipoli, and after returning
to his men although wounded in three places,
was recorded as Killed in Action on 12 August 1915 at Suvla Bay.
Capt. Arthur Curtis d. 1916
was apparently his later fuller name, under which he
served in the war, although he acted as Arthur Curtis,
having decided after two years not to go into the
He acted from the early 1900s in both UK and USA,
particularly with H B Irving and his
company in favourites such as the
The Jury of Fate;
The Bells and
Louis XI, and
he was on the Irving Australian tour
He trained with the Inns of Court OTC, was commissioned
and went to France in March 1916. He
was wounded on the Somme in
September and died of wounds soon after, in Queen Mary's
Hospital, London, on
He was buried in
St. Mary Kensal Green RC
Hallam d. 1916
Born Basil Hallam Radford on 3 April 1889 and educated
at Oxford, his first
appearance was with Sir Herbert Tree in 1908, playing in
Shakespearean productions. He acted in both
USA. He made his
mark as Gilbert the Filbert in
The Passing Show
at the Palace Theatre in 1914.
for the infantry, he badgered his way into motor
transport and then into the Royal Flying Corps.
to France in 1915
and by 1916 was - despite sea-sickness aloft
Flight-Commander (Temporary Captain) in No.1 Army Kite
He died tragically in August 1916, near Albert on the
The balloon, from which he was observing, broke
away. His parachute harness failed and his death
was witnessed by Rudyard Kipling ... something black,
which had been hanging below the basket, detached itself
and fell some three thousand feet ... He was buried in
Couin British cemetery.
Capt. Guy B
Rathbone d. 1916
- he was born
in Liverpool on 29 May 1884, and became a member of
Frank Benson Shakespeare Company (he was
a third cousin of Frank
Benson) and pursued a busy acting career until gaining a
commission in the Gloucestershire
Regiment in 1915. He was at Gallipoli and when the
force was withdrawn, transferred via
Iraq, in the bid to
relieve the siege of Kut.
He died at Mespot Sannaiyat, near Kut, on 21
April 1916, when he was commanding A Company,
He is remembered on the Basra Memorial.
Bibby d. 1917
Born in November 1878 in Stretford,
he also started his acting career with the Benson
Company in 1898. He
was later with the Beerbohm
Tree Company and was one of the original members of
the Company formed by Miss A.
E. Horniman when she took over the Gaiety,
in 1908. He
remained mainly in Manchester, but also went on tour with her Company in UK and to Canada. He joined up in 1915
and served with the 23
Battalion. Royal Fusiliers (City of
was killed in action on the Somme on 3 May 1917
commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
Lt. Marcus Draper d. 1917
Mark (Marcus) Denman Draper was born in 1885 in Alfreton
where his father was a vicar. His initial acting
experience was also with Sir Frank Benson; he toured in
repertory and was later in management for seven years.
He married actress and frequent co-star Gladys Purnell.
In 1915 he joined the 28th (Artists Rifles)
Battalion, London Regiment and was gazetted Second
Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps in January 1917.
Only two weeks later,
he was killed in an accident
a training flight from Northolt Camp, Ruislip.
Two of his brothers also died in WWI, and another was
Profeit d. 1917
- was born in about
1878, he was the son of Queen Victoria's Balmoral
commissioner, Doctor Alexander Profeit.
He acted in London and on Broadway
1899 to 1913, and married actress Dorothy Rundell in
August 1915. He served in 8 Bn. King's Shropshire
Light Infantry, entering the
theatre on 31 October 1915. He was killed near Lake Dorian
on 25 April 1917 in a decisive attack that he had
was buried at the
Karasouli Military Cemetery.
Capt. C C Trevor Roper d. 1917
- Charles George
Cadwalader Trevor-Roper was born
on 9 February 1884 at Mold in Flintshire, and educated
at Clare College, Cambridge and
Academy of Dramatic Art.
He played in London
under H. B. Irving and was on his tour to Australia in 1911.
lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and
Hampshire Regiment. He died in France on 3 August 1917 ... of wounds received in
action at Ypres the previous day... and was buried in
the Duhallow Advanced
Cemetery. In WWII,
his son was a
Guy Gibson for the Dambusters
Major Charles Blackall d. 1918
- Born in about
served as Lieutenant with the 3rd Buffs (militia) in the
Boer War. He continued in the Reserve and acted in UK initially in amateur companies
and in pantomime.
His break came when he gained a part in
written by a friend who attended the same church.
The play was a hit,
including a train crash and
a horse race with real horses galloping on a moving
was a hit - and he and his wife, appeared with the play
in UK, Australia
USA. He was re-gazetted
with the 3 Bn. Buffs (East Kent Regiment) in 1914 and
in late 1914.
His poems written home to his
wife were published as
Songs from the
Trenches, and he became one of the WWI Poets.
He was acting Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 4th
Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment and leading his
men when he was killed on 10 December 1917.
Lt. Henry Hargreaves d. 1918
- It was assumed that this was Harold Hargreaves, the
son of a Burnley
colliery clerk; but this has been found to be incorrect.
William Henry Hargreaves, born in Birkenhead on 27 July 1882. He acted as W.
Henry Hargreaves, so as not to be confused with an older
actor William Hargreaves, from at least 1906, in which
year he also married actress May Dallas-Palmer.
Henry joined the
15th Bn. Middlesex Regiment and later transferred to the
Royal Flying Corps, gaining his pilot licence on 22 May
1916. He was in action in Palestine and died of wounds on 8 May 1918.
He is buried in the