Ivor Novello

Welsh Composer + Singer and Actor
Born Jan 15, 1893

David Ivor Davies, better known as Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer, singer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century. He was born into a musical family and his first successes were as a songwriter. His first big hit was "Keep the Home Fires Burning", which was enormously popular during the First World War.… Read More

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1893 Birth Born on January 15, 1893.


1913 20 Years Old After leaving school, he gave piano lessons in Cardiff, and then moved to London in 1913 with his mother. … Read More
1914 21 Years Old In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Novello wrote "Keep the Home Fires Burning", a song that expressed the feelings of innumerable families sundered by World War I. Novello composed the music for the song to a lyric by the American Lena Guilbert-Ford, and it became a huge popular success, bringing Novello money and fame at the age of 21. … Read More
1916 23 Years Old 1 More Event
He avoided enlistment until June 1916, when he reported to a Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) training depot as a probationary flight sub-lieutenant. … Read More
1917 24 Years Old In 1917 he wrote for another Grossmith and Laurillard production, the operette Arlette, for which he contributed additional numbers to an existing French score by Jane Vieu and Guy le Feuvre. … Read More
1918 25 Years Old In 1918 and after the war, Novello continued to write successfully for musical comedy and revue. … Read More
1921 28 Years Old Novello made his stage debut in 1921 in Deburau by Sacha Guitry with Robert Loraine, Madge Titheradge and Bobbie Andrews, and among other stage engagements, in the next years he played Bingley in an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Ben Webster as Darcy and Mary Jerrold as Elizabeth, in a cast that included Ellen Terry, May Whitty and Joyce Carey. … Read More


1923 - 1924 2 More Events
1927 34 Years Old Coward had by now caught Novello up professionally, despite a joint disaster when Novello starred in Coward's play Sirocco in 1927, which was a débâcle, and closed within a month of opening.
1928 35 Years Old In 1928 Novello starred in the silent adaptation of Coward's much more successful The Vortex, and made his last silent film, A South Sea Bubble. … Read More
1929 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Novello returned to composing for the lyric stage in 1929, writing eight numbers for the revue The House that Jack Built. … Read More


1935 42 Years Old Glamorous Night starred Novello and Mary Ellis, with a cast including Zena Dare, Olive Gilbert and Elizabeth Welch, and ran from 2 May 1935 to 18 July 1936, at Drury Lane and then the London Coliseum.
1936 43 Years Old Careless Rapture ran from 11 September 1936 for 296 performances, with Novello, Dorothy Dickson and Zena Dare in the leading roles.
1937 44 Years Old Crest of the Wave starred Novello, Dickson and Gilbert, and ran from 1 September 1937 for 203 performances.


1944 51 Years Old The last of Novello's pre-war musicals was The Dancing Years, which starred Novello, Ellis and Gilbert, opened at Drury Lane, closed on the outbreak of the Second World War, and re-opened at the Adelphi Theatre, running for a combined total of 696 performances, closing on 8 July 1944. … Read More
1951 58 Years Old …  He was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium, and his ashes are buried beneath a lilac bush and marked with a plaque that reads "Ivor Novello 6th March 1951 'Till you are home once more'." … Read More
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