Vol 13 No 6 Sir Charles Hawtrey

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
Post Reply
Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:59 pm


Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

And the Son that never was; Identity theft?

Buried in Teddington Cemetery is a famous 19th century actor who indirectly was thought to be the father of a member of the ‘Carry On’ team’, but more of that later. Sir Charles Hawtrey (1858 – 1923) was born in Eton and first took to the stage in 1881.

So started a successful acting and directing career which would not only include starring on the stage but also appearing in that new-fangled ‘craze’, Silent Movies. His first was in 1913 ‘ A Message From Mars’. So successful was he that he became a ‘mentor’ to a young Noel Coward. Hawtrey’s forte was playing the lovable rogue and believable liar.

In his private life, he enjoyed having a flutter on the horses and is reputed to have said that he lost half-a-crown (12p) at his first race meeting and spent millions trying to get it back!

Hawtrey was knighted by King George V, on 1st January 1922, sadly dying just a year later.

Now for the weird bit - the ‘Identity Theft’.

George Frederick Joffre Hartree (1914 – 1988) was born in Hounslow to William John and Alice Hartree. George’s father was a car mechanic. George obviously showed a talent for acting and studied at the Italian Conti Academy of Arts before embarking on a career in the theatre and ultimately in Carry On films. Hartree made his first stage appearance at the age of 11 in Bournemouth.

At some stage Hartree took his stage name from the recently deceased Sir Charles Hawtrey and ‘allowed’ the idea that he was the son of Sir Charles – it would certainly have given him a leg-up in show-business. Hawtree had a long career on the stage and film but will long be remembered in his appearances in the Carry On franchise.

He appeared in the first film, Carry on Sergeant in 1958, and made his last in 1972, Carry On Abroad – 23 in all – some of which would have included our very own, Larry Dann.

Identity Theft is a common problem in these days of Online, Cloning and Fraud, however it would seem that it is something that has always been with us.

The Old Historian
Post Reply