28 – Private F C Webb

Family

Frederick Charles Webb was born on 10 October 1883 at Beenham, Berkshire. He was baptised Charles.

His parents were George and Sarah Webb (née Usher). George was a ‘General Labourer’.

He was the fourth of seven children (all born at Beenham): George, Kate, Lydia, Frederick Charles, Sydney, Lendton ‘Ellen’ and Rose.

In the 1901 Census, Frederick is recorded as living at The Green, Beenham Hill, Berkshire with his mother and four of his siblings. He was aged 17 and his occupation was listed as ‘Under Gardener’. His mother, Sarah, was now a widow and finding employment as a laundress, working from home.

In the 1911 Tadley Census he is aged 27 years, single and employed as a ‘Domestic Gardener’ at Heath End House – living in a cottage in the grounds together with fellow gardener, William Joseph Stroud.

Frederick married Dorothy Appleby at the end of 1915. Dorothy was one of nine children, all born in Beenham, Berkshire. However, by 1891 her parents, Jesse and Charlotte, and family had moved to Grantham Farm, Inhurst and later to Curtis Farm, Chapel Lane, Baughurst.

In the 1911 Baughurst Census, Dorothy, aged 23, lists her occupation as ‘Farmer’s daughter, working at home’.

Frederick and Dorothy had a son, Frederick Jesse. At the time of her husband’s death, Dorothy was living at ‘The Laurels’, Baughurst.

 

Service record

Frederick is believed to have enlisted in Maidenhead by 12 September 1914. He served as a private in the 2/8th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (service number 263047).

The 2/8th Battalion was formed in Worcester in September 1914 as a home service ‘second line’ unit.

In January 1915 it was attached to the 183rd (2nd Gloucester and Worcester) Brigade, 2nd South Midland Division in Northampton. In April 1915 it moved to Chelmsford and in February 1916 to Salisbury Plain, prior to landing in France on 24 May. In August 1916 it became part of the 183rd Brigade, 61st Division and in February 1918 it transferred to 182nd Brigade, 61st Division and was stationed on the Western Front during the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) launched on 21 March 1918. This large-scale offensive against the Allied front on the Somme battlefield was the first of several attacks to be made against the Allies on the northern part of the Western Front in the spring of 1918. Frederick is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial which, together with the date of his death, would suggest he was killed during Operation Michael.

 

Died

Frederick was killed in action on Sunday 31 March 1918, aged 34.

 

Commemorated

He is commemorated on Pozieres Memorial [Panel 41], Pozieres, Department de la Somme, Picardie, France.

He is also remembered on Tadley and Baughurst War Memorials.

 

Decorations

Frederick was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal. These would have been sent to his wife.

Return to World War I 31 men index page.

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