Your Ever Loving Son, Harry
Note: This was sent to his parents in London,
hence the dedication written on it by him
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTESHi Ralph
from Roger Anderson, 7-9-09
I found your website whilst doing a Google search for a member of my family, one Harry J Webster who was the brother of my grandfather (on my mothers side).
I happen to have an old newspaper clipping from The Duluth News Tribune (the date apart from the month of March has been clipped so I am unsure exactly when it dates from) which details the exploits of one Harry Webster. I recall my mother telling me it was about her Uncle Harry and I have other photos of him with aeroplanes, one of which is very early and looking at the picture on your webpage could be of the same aircraft as the one you have pictured there, the wheel looks the same to me but I'm no expert. Not sure about the face of the person in the picture but it could be a grainy image of him I guess.
I am slightly puzzled at discovering this because before looking into the Duluth connection I was under the impression that he and his brother Fred were based in Toronto in Canada. I have discovered a US border crossing document from February 1918 which appears to list him and states his destination at that time was Buffalo in NY state, it mentions his brothers address in Toronto, that his nationality is English and lists his occupation as "Aviation Engineer".
I'm also very surprised to read on your webpage that he ended his life in California, this is news to me and nothing at all was ever mentioned of this or of his death even when I visited LA and California twice in the years before her death - strange indeed!
I'd be very grateful if you could tell me anything more that you know about him or could identify the aircraft if I send you a scan of the photo I have.
The Harry who is my relative was born in Leytonstone in Essex
England in 1886 as far as I can ascertain from census records but the corresponding Christening and birth records state 1885, with the Christening record giving a birth date of 1 July 1885. This seems to correspond with the entry in the California death index which gives the same birth date and his mothers maiden name as Davison, my great, great Grandmother's full maiden name was Isabella Robina Davison, my mothers first name was Robina after her!
As we say over this side of the pond I'm gobsmacked!
I'd be grateful for any help or leads you can offer me in my search for further information about him and any family he may have had.
Editor's Note:If you can help Roger with his search for more information, please contact me and I will forward your response.
H. G. Webster began flying around Duluth in 1912, soloed a Curtiss pusher in 1913 at North Island and holds Aero Club certificate No. 290 dated 1914. His aviation career includes exhibition work in 1914, instructing for Curtiss 1915-1916, for the Army at Mineola and Houston in 1917; superintendent of Springfield Aircraft Co., 1918; manager of an air transport company at Toronto, 1920-1922. He sold real estate in Los Angeles until 1930, when he went into the movies. He is now with M. G. M.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir