Little is known of Henry’s childhood or teenage years until discovering a reflection published by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company which reads – Henry Powis Pinder’s first stage appearance was on tour in 1893 as the Vicomte de Champletreaux in Ma’m’zelle Nitouche with Mr and Mrs Frank Wyatt. He made his London Stage debut at the Savoy in December 1894. Pinder next appeared in a D’Oyly Carte program with Carte’s Company “D” from March to November 1896, playing the Herald in The Grand Duke and (from October onward) Mr Goldbury in Utopia Limited.
This description perfectly pitches Henry’s life as one dedicated to stage entertainment and in 1897 he married D’Oyly Carte singer Ethel Florence Quarry of Highgate, at Pancras. The 1901 Census found them settled at an address in Fulham Road, Fulham, owned by and shared with Henry’s mother, with the couple listed as theatrical actors. Searches of newspaper archives for pre-WW1 period of the 20th century are littered with references to Henry and Ethel’s professional performances and associations. In 1911 the couple, now a family with a young son Arthur, were resident at 86 Windermere Road, Ealing – a modest semi-detached abode but again in an area where today the property would be valued at not much under one million pounds.
The first reference connecting Henry with the Isle of Wight appeared in a County Press article in the edition of 16 January 1915. Shanklin Town Hall had been the venue for – an evening entertainment of singular artistic excellence – in aid of the St John Ambulance Association. The ‘crowded performance’ concluded with a one-act comedy Jerry and the Sunbeam starring Miss Dorothy Gouldsmith and Henry Powis Pinder. This appears to have been the time at which Henry detached himself from the bright lights of London and was entranced by Shanklin where he staged notable burlesque evenings at the Town Hall from 1918 for which hospital commandants were encouraged to contact Henry to arrange free attendance for soldiers wounded in war. Finding Shanklin a worthy home the couple embedded themselves in local society with Henry becoming a freemason of the Chine Lodge in October 1919.