Private Frederick William Webb


The background of this man is not known for certain, other than that he was from Brixton, London. He may have been the Frederick William Webb born in Brixton on 19 September 1895, the fourth of eight children of provision manager Ernest Charles Webb and his wife Amelia Alexandra (née Keeley). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 34 Quill Lane, Putney, with his father and his six surviving siblings, and working as a baker's assistant.

Webb enlisted in the cavalry on 24 August 1914 (No.9986). Posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, he embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, possibly at the end of June 1916, having been posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July.

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Webb, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Webb was issued regimental number 41141 and posted to B Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Webb was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. He rejoined the battalion on 3 April, however, in time to take part in the fighting near Kemmel Hill on the Ypres front later that month. It was probably then that he was wounded, as reported in the War Office Daily Casualty List of 14 June 1918.

Evacuated to the UK for treatment, Webb saw no further front line service during the war. On 20 February 1919 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations), due to his wounds.

Assuming that he was the Frederick Webb born on 19 September 1895, by 1927 he was living at 19 Stowe Road, Hammersmith, London, and working as a warehouseman. On 24 April that year he married Grace Edith Banks in St Thomas's Church, Shepherd's Bush.