Robert Westerby

Robert Westerby

Robert Westerby (born 3 July 1909 in England, died 16 November 1968 in California, United States),[1] was an author of novels (published by Arthur Barker of London) and screenwriter for films and television.

Westerby's 1937 novel Wide Boys Never Work was a story of the criminal underworld before the Second World War and was made into a 1956 film Soho Incident (UK title) or Spin a Dark Web (US title), and was the earliest published use of the word "wide boy".[2] His account of his early life was entitled A Magnum for my Mother (1946). To the British public, a magnum just meant a large bottle of champagne. However, in the USA it could suggest a type of handgun, so it was retitled Champagne for Mother (1947). In 2008 London Books republished Wide Boys Never Work as part of their London Books classics series.


  • Wide Boys Never Work (1937)
  • Only Pain is Real (1937)
  • In These Quiet Streets (1938)
  • French for Funny, and Other Stories (1938)
  • Polish Gold (1940)
  • The Small Voice (1940)
  • Tomorrow Started Yesterday (1940)
  • Hunger Allows No Choice (1941)
  • Mad in Pursuit (1945)
  • A Magnum for my Mother (1946)
  • Champagne for Mother (1947)
  • An Awful Lot of Coffee (1950)
  • Five-Day Crossing (1952)
  • In the Money (1952)




External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • London Books: Robert Westerby biography
  • London Books:Wide Boys Never Work - Robert Westerby (essay review by Martin Knight, 2008)