Geoffrey Wilkinson

Geoffrey Francis Murray Wilkinson 1889-1955 was born in Staines, Surrey to Henry and Amy Wilkinson. His father was a stockbroker. The 1891 census shows them living in Weir House at Cookham, Berkshire. The 1901 census shows the family living at 17 Durham Villas, Kensington, London.

As early as 1915 he lists his occupation as an actor, apparently traveling with a troupe. One travel record shows him arriving back in England with other actors from a trip to the West Indies in 1915. His address at this time was Marlow Church Walk, Thames Ditton.

In 1916 he enlisted in the British Army, serving as a Private in the Army Service Corps, primarily as a packer and loader of artillery shells being sent to the front. He served behind the lines as he was not in good physical shape, having a slightly deformed back and being blind in his left eye due to cataracts. He was demobilized in 1919 and resumed acting.

Several times from at least 1928 to 1947 he traveled to the US and Canada as an actor. Apparently most of this was in Shakespearean troupes; indeed, he gives his address in 1928 as Stratford-upon-Avon. Later dates he had various addresses in SW London. In 1947 he is listed as performing on Broadway in various Shakespeare plays staged by Donald Wolfit. He died at Poole, Dorset in late 1955. Apparently he never married.

It is thought he was just found during a casting call or search of stage actors, and because of his old age and bad eye, he was seen as perfect for Old Ben Gunn.

Related Posts