Fonds red-2791 - de Wilton family fonds

Port Said, Egypt Port Said, Egypt Port Said, Egypt Ships on the Suez Canal The Tanks of Aden British on a trip to India General Sir Frederick Roberts The Tanks of Aden House of the General Officer Commanding, Quetta British colonial officials in Quetta
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de Wilton family fonds

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RED red-2791

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Date(s)

  • [1776?]-1965, predominant 1830-1965 (Creation)
    Creator
    de Wilton (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

1.8 m. - 371 photographs: 370 b&w; 1 col.

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Biographical history

Sussex Gerard de Wilton, (1869-1939), was a career cavalry officer, attaining the rank of captain in the Royal Scots Greys. About 1895, he married Edith Juliet Hughenden-Holloway (1871-1955), who had been a Home Nurse in India (1887-1888). They had one child, Edith Doreen de Wilton (1898-1968). After his retirement, the family immigrated to the Hill End district near Red Deer, Alberta in 1903. In 1907 they homesteaded at Hardisty, Alberta. In 1915, Sussex and his wife returned to England. The following year Edith (Mrs. de Wilton) was commissioned a lieutenant-colonel in the Women's Volunteer Corps, which later became the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. By 1918, she was the principal at the Agricultural Tractor Section School at Barrow Green. Edith Doreen de Wilton was born in Ropley, Hampshire, England, on 25th March 1898 to Sussex Gerald de Wilton, (1869-1939) and Edith Juliette Hughenden-Holloway (1871-1955). Just after her seventeenth birthday, Edith married Herbert Warren Cluff of Hardisty, but the marriage was very short lived. In the summer of 1915, she left Alberta and took the stage name Olive de Wilton and joined several touring companies which played in Eastern Canada and in New York State. She was the common law spouse of William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) from 1915 to 1919. They were not able to make the marriage "legal' because of the de Wilton's short lived liaison with Cluff. In 1919, she returned to England and became a minor player and business manager with several acting companies. By 1925, Olive had married fellow actor Richard Meadows-White (ca. 1905-1973) and they had one child: Rosalind Edith Charlotte Meadows-White (1929-?). They founded the Northern Repertory Theatre (1925-1929), which collapsed after the couple separated. Between 1939 and 1951, Olive moved between Canada and England to teach drama as well as to direct and act in several plays. In 1952 Olive moved to Montreal, Quebec, where she was involved in Montreal Repertory Theatre, acted on local English radio and television, and wrote for the National Film Board. By 1966, Olive had taken up residence in Lacombe, Alberta. She died in 1968 in Lacombe and is buried in the local cemetery.

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Name of creator

(25 Mar 1898 - 1968)

Biographical history

Edith Doreen de Wilton was born in Ropley, Hampshire, England, on 25th March 1898 to Sussex Gerald de Wilton, (1869-1939) and Edith Juliette Hughenden-Holloway (1871-1955). Just after her seventeenth birthday, Edith married Herbert Warren Cluff of Hardisty, but the marriage was very short lived. In the summer of 1915, she left Alberta and took the stage name Olive de Wilton and joined several touring companies which played in Eastern Canada and in New York State. She was the common law spouse of William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) from 1915 to 1919. They were not able to make the marriage "legal' because of the de Wilton's short lived liaison with Cluff. In 1919, she returned to England and became a minor player and business manager with several acting companies. By 1925, Olive had married fellow actor Richard Meadows-White (ca. 1905-1973) and they had one child: Rosalind Edith Charlotte Meadows-White (1929-?). They founded the Northern Repertory Theatre (1925-1929), which collapsed after the couple separated. Between 1939 and 1951, Olive moved between Canada and England to teach drama as well as to direct and act in several plays. In 1952 Olive moved to Montreal, Quebec, where she was involved in Montreal Repertory Theatre, acted on local English radio and television, and wrote for the National Film Board. By 1966, Olive had taken up residence in Lacombe, Alberta. She died in 1968 in Lacombe and is buried in the local cemetery.

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Custodial history

Some records inherited by Olive de Wilton from her parents. The fonds ended up in the custody of the James Purnell family of Lacombe, Alberta. Inherited by Eve Purnell

Scope and content

The fonds has been arranged into the following six series: theatrical records, legal records, personal records, family memorabilia, published materials, and photographs and consists of photographs of de Wilton family members in England, India, and Canada which includes a wedding photograph of Olive de Wilton and Herbert Warren Cluff in 1915; a photograph album of W. G. Chadwick as a cadet at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario (1918-1920); assorted press clippings on the careers of Edith Juliette and Olive de Wilton (1915-1955); assorted playbills (1917-1958); various play scripts and screenplays (1926-1961); business records of mainly Olive de Wilton which includes a letter to Boris Karloff (1916-1960); marriage annulment record of Edith Doreen Cluff (1932); will of Sussex de Wilton (1936); personal correspondence of the de Wilton family including the draft of a letter to Boris Karloff (1908-1965); military certificates of Edith J. de Wilton (1916-1919); Edith J.'s scrapbook of a journey to Quetta via the Suez Canal (1887-1888); a painting of a Canadian winter scene; an academic pencil drawing (ca. 1915-1920); a transatlantic passenger liner dinner menu (1948); and books on dramatics and English drama and music (1776-1951). RECORDS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING PERSONS ALSO IN THIS FONDS. SEE FINDING AID FOR DETAILS: Alfred Aldidge, Sedric Barnes, Guy Boulton, W. G. Chadwick, W. M. Charlesworth, A. W. de Wilton, Edith de Wilton, Sussex de Wilton, Brian Doherty, Lady Dufferin, Jack Harp, Robert Henderson, Boris Karloff, Carrie Lamart, S. F. Makepeace, Lady Roberts, Sir Oriel Viveash Tanner, Lady Tanner, the Twinkling Stars, Edward J. Wood. PLAYWRIGHTS: Olive de Wilton, Michael Dyre, Charlotte Haldane, John Latimer, Richard Meadows-White, Molly Marguerite, Florida Scott-Maxwell. OTHER SUBJECTS: Ben Greet Players, Brian Doherty Theatre Productions, Canadian Players, Civic Theatre Association, Lynn Hardings Scala Theatre, Mercury Theatre, Montreal Repertory Theatre, National Film Board of Canada, Northern Repertory Theatre, Red Barn Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre, and Sir Frank Benson's Shakespearean Theatre.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Eve Purnell to Red Deer and District Archives, 1996

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Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions on access;Copyright restrictions may apply

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No further accruals expected

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Record No. MG 21 (includes oversize)<br><br>

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