Wednesday 13 March 2024

Jack Warner, OBE (1895 - 1981) - British actor

 Jack Warner, OBE (born Horace John Waters; 24 October 1895 – 24 May 1981) was a British actor. He is closely associated with the role of PC George Dixon, which he played in the 1950 film The Blue Lamp and later in the television series Dixon of Dock Green from 1955 until 1976, but he was also for some years one of Britain's most popular film stars. 

Born Horace John Waters in Bromley-by-Bow, Poplar, London, UK on 24th October 1895, his parents were Edward William Waters, a master fulling maker and undertaker's warehouseman, and his wife, Maud Mary, nee Best.  Jack's sisters, Elsie and Doris Waters, became comediennes who usually performed as "Gert and Daisy”.

Educated at the Coopers' Company's Grammar School for Boys in Mile End, Jack went on to study automobile engineering at the Northampton Institute (now part of the City University, London) but being more practical than academic he left after a year to work at the repair facilities of F.W. Berwick and Company in Balham.

During the First World War, Jack served in France as a driver in the Royal Flying Corps and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1918. He returned to England and the motor trade in 1919, driving hearses and occasionally racing cars at Brooklands, where he maintained and sometimes raced Henrietta Lister's Aston Martin. 

Jack became a professional entertainer in music hall and in radio shows. In 1933, Jack married company secretary Muriel Winifred ("Mollie"), daughter of independently wealthy Roberts Peters

By the early years of the Second World War, Jack had become nationally known and starred in a BBC radio comedy show.  He died in 1981 and his role of Dixon of Dock Green in the television series was held in such high esteem that officers from Paddington Green Police Station bore the coffin at his funeral.