Lance Corporal R/13445 Ernest Webb

 Webb Ernest 96 416x600

Died of Wounds on Thursday, 20th September 1917, age 31.
Buried in Grave I. G. 11. at Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, Nord, France.

18th Bn., King's Royal Rifle Corps. 122th Brigade of 41st Division.

Husband of A. E. Webb, of 7, Eagle Passage Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 8th October 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/24316/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Eagle Passage, The Square, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Webb (39, Stationary Engine Driver, born Tipton), his wife Selina (40, born Tipton), and their 9 children: Frederick S. (19, Tube Works Labourer, born Tipton), Joseph (17, Tube Works Labourer, born Tipton), Ernest (14, Tube Works Labourer, born Tipton), Selina (13, born Tipton), George (10, born Tipton), John (9, born Tipton), Rebecca (7, born Tipton), William (4, born Tipton), and Elsie (1, born Tipton).

Marriage of Ernest Webb and Agnes Elizabeth Riley registered December quarter 1908 in West Bromwich.

1911 Census
7 Eagle Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Ernest Webb (24, Tube Works Labourer, born West Bromwich), and his wife Agnes Elizabeth (20, born Walsall). Adopted Frederick Dudfield, born November 1913.

Personal Data

Ernest attested for the King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) on 24th May 1915 at Wolverhampton, he was a married man aged 28 and employed as a Tube Springer. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall with a 37½-inch chest, and weighed 130 pounds, he had perfect eyesight and good physical development. After training at Belhus Park and Seaford, he arrived in France on 8th October 1915 and was posted to 'D' Company in the 2nd Battalion KRRC. On 12th April 1916 he received a Gun Shot Wound in the right arm, and was sent from Rouen to England for treatment. He spent 41 days in the Bradford War Hospital from 22nd April to 2nd June 1916, then given 10 days leave before returning to complete his convalescence.

He arrived back in France on 27th September 1916 and was posted to 'A' Company in the 18th Battalion KRRC. Almost a year later on 18th September 1917, Ernest was severely wounded in action.

After Ernest's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/1/4d (4 pounds, 1 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Agnes E., in November 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/0/0d (10 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Agnes in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Ernest had enlisted in May 1915.

A letter from the Ministry of Pensions dated March 1918 granted a pension of 18 shillings and 9 pence per week for his wife Agnes and their adopted son Frederick Dudfield. Agnes's brother, and hence Ernest's brother-in-law, Sidney Riley was also killed in action just a month before Ernest serving with the Rifle Brigade, also in the Ypres Salient.

Action resulting in his death

After arriving back in France in September 1916 and being posted to the 18th KRRC, Ernest would have seen action at the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme in the Battle of Transloy Ridges in October 1916. In 1917, the 41st Division was involved in the Battle of Messines Ridge in June, then the opening battle of 3rd Ypres - the Battle of Pilkem Ridge on 31st July. After Pilkem Ridge, there were numerous small battles intended to improve the line for the next large-scale attack - the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge on 20th September.

On 17th September the 18th KRRC arrived at the front line near Tower Hamlets (adjacent to the Menin Road), in readiness for the assault on the 20th. 29 men from the 18th KRRC were killed on the 18th September, most likely from heavy and accurate German artillery fire on the front line. Ernest was severely wounded and died 2 days later, on 20th September, at No. 37 Casualty Clearing Station at Godewaersvelde, just over the Belgian border in France. He is buried in the adjacent Godewaersvelde British Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 20th October 1917
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
King's Royal Rifles Corps, Webb, 13445, Lce-Corpl., E., (Tipton).