Leslie Joseph (1896 - 1919) & Gordon Louis Durlacher (1896 - 1956)

Rita Webb's half twin brothers Leslie Joseph Durlacher and Gordon Louis Durlacher were born on 24th March 1896 at 41 Sutherland Avenue to parents Rose Jeannette and Samuel Durlacher. Gordon was born at 3:30pm, Grandama Julia was present at the births.
At a young age the twins were told that their father had died. They would never learn the truth that their father was actually still alive (and was living in Germany where he eventually remarried and had 5 children some years later.)

Samuel Durlacher

Gordon & Leslie Durlacher
Their mother Rose eventually remarried a man named Henry Augustus Webb and bore him two children. Daughter Olive (Rita) and son Henry Richard.

The twins it seemed were inseprable and they enjoyed sports and outdoor activities, especially soccer. they were one of the first children to enjoy the newly set up scouts club in Hampstead and had a public school education and also attended St Augustine´s School in 1904 while living at 87 Hartland Road.

In 1908 their mother died of Cancer and they were sent to live with their grandma Julia.While their stepfather kept Rita and Henry. (The twins were never to see them again.)

What life was like for the young boys growing up believing they were orphans is unclear. They both joined the army in 1915 with Leslie signing up in Australia (after working on farms and visiting relatives there)he served in Egypt and France.While Gordon signed up in Britain.Serving in France, where he was shot in the arm, but survived by swimming the river Somme. In later years he would insist that his children learn to swim as his ability to swim had saved his life! The boys met up in Paris while serving in the war and had their photograph taken in full uniform.

Leslie who was 5ft 2in tall with brown eyes and light brown hair died of Bronchil Pneumonia on 16th February 1919 while in the 1st Australian Hospital, Warminster.

His funeral was held at the United Synagogue Jewish cemetery in Willesden where his grandma Julia was also buried (she had died aged 84 on 29th March 1917 in her home at 10 Cambridge gardens)

In 1926 Gordon traced his brothers footsteps back to Canada and Australlia meeting many of the people Leslie had talked about on his travels.
On the boat back home to England Gordon met Elizabeth McCarthy whom he would later emigrate with to Australia and marry on 13th February 1928 in Melbourne.

The couple had 3 sons and a daughter. Doris Elizabeth in 1929, Leslie John in 1931, Richard Brian in1933 and Allan Arthur in 1947.

In 1947 the family changed their Durlacher surname to Dale. Gordon Louis died aged 59 in 1956 and his children, Grandchildren and great Grandchildren all still live in Australia.

Information & Photo copyright go to Marg and Allan Dale, Geraldine Lewis, Louise Webb, Keira Lockyer
and Merav Schejtman
These images are the exclusive ownership of the copyright holders and are strictly prohibited from being reproduced, copied or used by any individual anywhere else other than this website.