Gerald Cobb (1900–1986), antiquary and architectural historian, was born on 8 June 1900 at Ivy Lodge, Hamilton Road, Reading, one of four sons of Joseph William Cobb, a banker's clerk, and his wife, Florence Kate Arnold.
Cobb became a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1951 and was master of the Art-Workers' Guild in 1952. During the Second World War Cobb was a fire warden at St Paul's Cathedral, where he helped to preserve the fabric while compiling his files for every major ecclesiastical structure (and many minor ones) in Great Britain.
He never married, and lived for most of his life in a house in Streatham utterly packed with his finds. Until just before his death, on 9 June 1986 at Tooting Bec Hospital, he was still sorting, comparing, and interpreting what can now be seen as an objective picture library without equal.
Source Ian Leith and Image Illustrated London News 27 June 1942 © Illustrated London News Group