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Walter Charles Mycroft

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Royal Aero Club

Biography

Walter Charles Mycroft was a British novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director.

He was born in 1890 in Camberwell, London, to journalist Walter Thomas Mycroft and his wife Rosland Agnes. Afflicted by a hunched back, Mycroft only grew to 5 foot 4 inches in adult life.[1]

He started his career as a journalist at the Globe before becoming the film critic at the Evening Standard where he penned articles under the initial "M".

He married Adeline Grace Frances Benns in 1919 at St Nicholas' in Thames Ditton.[2] They had one son, David Rees Mycroft (1927-1987).[3]

When it proved impossible to see F.W. Murnau's Phantom (1922) in London, Mycroft proposed the establishment of a film society to screen films that were commercially unavailable. The London Film Society was formed in early 1925 by Mycroft, along with Ivor Montagu, Sidney Bernstein and others.

At the end of 1927, Mycroft left the Evening Standard and joined John Maxwell's British International Pictures as a scenario editor and literary adviser. The company released large numbers of films in which he was credited as producer, although with varying levels of actual involvement. By 1933, he was in creative control of BIP's Elstree Studios, which allowed Maxwell to concentrate on expanding his cinema chain.

In September 1935, Mycroft was awarded his Aviators' Certificate by the Royal Aero Club.[4]

Following the acquisition of British Pathé in 1937, BIP was renamed the Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC) and Mycroft's role was Director of Productions[5]. A few months after Maxwell's death in October 1940, Mycroft was sacked from the company.

After World War II, he returned to filmmaking and eventually rejoined ABPC, where he worked on films such as The Dam Busters (1955) and Ice Cold in Alex (1958).

Mycroft had begun work on his memoirs but they remained unpublished at the time of his death in June 1959, aged 68, at New End Hospital, London. He was cremated at Goldens Green.[6] His former assistant Charles Sweeting — who penned Mycroft's obituary for The Times — worked on organising Mycroft's memoirs which were eventually published as The Time of My Life in 2006, edited Vincent Porter.

Filmography

Hitchcock adaptations...

With Hitchcock...

Books

See Also...

Genealogy

  • born 1890 in London[7]
  • son of Walter Thomas Mycroft (b. 1865)[8] and Agnes Rosalind Mycroft (b. ~1866) néé Hean[9]
  • brother of Frank Sydney Mycroft (b. ~1892)[10], Dorothy Rosalind Mycroft (b. 1898)[11], Sybil Mycroft (b. ~1903)[12], Phyllis Mycroft (b. 1904)[13] and Muriel Mary Mycroft (b. 1908)[14]
  • died 12/Jun/1959 aged 68 in London[15]

Marriages

  • married 19/Jul/1919 to Adeline Grace Frances Benns (b. 1896)[16] at St Nicholas, Thames Ditton, Surrey

Children

  • David Rees Mycroft (b. 1927)[17]

Census Details

1891

Infant living at 2 Malt Street, Camberwell, London, with parents.

1901

10-year-old living at 38 Warner Road, Camberwell, London, with parents and siblings.

1911

20-year-old "articled journalist" living at 18 Ashen Grove Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon, Surrey, with parents and siblings.

Research Documents

Marriage

Royal Aero Club

Royal Aero Club photographic entry and index card for Mycroft, which confirms his Aviators' Certificate.

Probate (1960)

Links

Notes & References

  1. Birth registered Q4 1890 Camberwell. He was brother to Frank Sydney Mycroft, Dorothy Rosalind Mycroft, Sybil Mycroft, Phyllis Mycroft and Muriel Mycroft.
  2. Marriage registered Q3 1919 Kingston, London. She was born on 10/Jul/1896, the daughter of Robert William Benns and his wife Eliza, and died in 1971 in Hackney.
  3. Apparently David was an adopted child, the son of Walter's sister, Dorothy Rosalind Mycroft (b. 1898).
  4. Strangely, Mycroft appears to have provided a false date of birth to the Aero Club — his index card gives his date of birth as August 1893, rather than 1890. Publicity material from Elstree often claimed Mycroft was born in 1891.
  5. According to press reports of the time, e.g. Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette (11/Dec/1937).
  6. Death registered Q2 1959 Hampstead. His probate record gives the death as occurring on 12th June at New End Hospital and his estate was worth £629 3s. 7d.
  7. Birth registered Q4 1890 Camberwell. A birth date of 04/Apr/1890 is given by one source on Ancestry.co.uk
  8. Born in Deptford. Worked as a journalist. Died 1948 in Rochford, Essex.
  9. Born in Bloomsbury, London. Also named Rosland Mycroft and Agnes Mycroft on Census returns.
  10. Married 30/Apr/1927 to Jessie Hutchison Johnston (b. ~1898). Died 1989.
  11. Born in Camberwell, Surrey. Married 15/Nov/1919 to Reginald Francesque Watkins Rees (b. ~1887).
  12. Moved to Spain and married there.
  13. Died 1993.
  14. Married in 1952.
  15. Death registered Q2 1959 Hamstead.
  16. Born 10/Jul/1896. Baptised 06/Sep/1896 at St Catherine, Hatcham. Daughter of Robert William Benns (b. 1858) and Eliza Benns (b. ~1860) née Pickett. Died 1971.
  17. Died 1987. According to one source on Ancestry.co.uk, David was an adopted child and was the son of Walter's sister, Dorothy Rosalind Mycroft.