MEMORIAL SERVICE AT ST PAUL'S COVENT GARDEN - OCTOBER 1984.
A memorial service was held at St Paul's Covent Garden for Webster Booth in October 1984. Before the service his ashes were buried in the grounds and a memorial plaque erected in commemoration to him. In 1991 Pamela Davies, who collaborated with me in writing one of the books on Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, visited the churchyard and found Webster's memorial plaque under a hawthorn tree. The plaque was made of brass and in the seven years since it had been erected it was blackened, although she could still read the plain inscription:
Pamela returned to the churchyard in 2005 only to find that the hawthorn tree had been cut down and Webster's plaque could no longer be seen. She wrote to make enquiries as to what had happened to the plaque. I quote from our book, Do You Remember Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth?
"The administrator, in the rector's absence, kindly instituted another search, equally fruitless. He suggested it could be hidden under a large plant or simply have disintegrated in the adverse weather, as had happened to the plaque to the actor Michael Williams, which had been in place only four years.
"In my letter I had enquired also about the possibility of a plaque to Webster Booth's wife, the singer Anne Ziegler, but I was informed that no more plaques are being accepted. The only answer would be an inscribed garden bench, or obtaining permission for a name in a memorial book in the church...."
It seems a shame that this plaque, which marked the burial place of his ashes, and was erected in memory of a great British tenor who was also dearly beloved by his family, friends and fans, should have vanished without trace.
Apparently no record is kept of those whose memorial services are held at the church.
If these plaques disintegrate and disappear within such a short time, valuable pieces of theatrical history are lost to future generations.