National Records of Scotland

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Sir David Webster (1903-1971)

Sir David Webster (1903-1971)

Theatre and opera house administrator

David Webster's family moved to Liverpool in 1913. He studied at the university there, and at Oxford, before going into retail management. During the Second World War he was seconded to the Ministry of Supply where he improved productivity. He had interests in theatre and music and from 1940 to 1945 was chairman of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. In 1944 he was invited to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and was appointed general administrator in 1946. He set up the permanent ballet and opera companies - the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera - and worked hard to raise and maintain standards. He was also chairman of the Orchestral Employers' Association and President of the Wagner Society. He was knighted in 1960 and retired 10 years later. He died at his home in London on 11 May 1971.

Birth in 1903

David Lumsden Webster was born at 20 minutes past midnight on 3 July 1903, the son of Robert Lumsden Webster, advertising agent and Mary Ann Alice Webster. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of St Peter gives the place of birth as 70 Peddie Street, Dundee.

Birth entry for David Webster

Birth entry for David Webster (35 KB jpeg)
National Records of scotland, 1903/282-1/457

1911 census

In 1911 David L Webster, 7, at school was enumerated with his mother at 70 Peddie Street, Dundee. The census return for the district of St Peter shows that there were two rooms with one or more windows, two people in the household and that his mother had been married for 9 years, had given birth to one child and that child was still living. Their places of birth are recorded as Liff and Benvie in the county of Forfarshire (now Angus).

1911 census return for David Webster, part 1

1911 census return for David Webster, part 2

1911 census return for David Webster (11 and 9 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, 1911/282-1/31, page 6