Gunner 836436 Samuel Webb

 Webb Samuel 96 379x600

Died of Wounds on Friday, 21st September 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave XXVI. C. 10. at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 307th Brigade, "B" Battery. 61st Division.
Formerly 3045 Royal Field Artillery.

Son of Benjamin and Emma Webb, of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Aston.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

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

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/506908/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
13 Court 3 House, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Benjamin Webb (36, Puddler, born Dudley), his wife Emma (34, born Birmingham), and their five children: Lillie (10, born Tipton), Matilda (8, born Tipton), Samuel (5, born Tipton), Violet (4, born Tipton), and Gladys (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
13 Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Emma Webb (43, Widow, born Birmingham) and four of her five children: Matilda (18, born Tipton), Samuel (16, Moulder's Assistant, born Tipton), Violet (14, In Service, born Tipton), and Gladys (11, School, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Samuel attested on 20th October 1915 at Holly Lane, Birmingham in the 2/3rd South Midlands Brigade, R.F.A., originally with service number 3045. The 2/3rd South Midlands Brigade, R.F.A., was a second-line Territorial Brigade, later designated as 307 Brigade, belonging to the 61st (2nd South Midlands) Division. Samuel agreed to serve outside of the United Kingdom, as he was attesting in a Territorial Brigade whose basic obligation was only to serve in the United Kingdom. Samuel was 5 feet 7 inches tall, 34-inch chest, fair vision and good physical development.

He embarked at Southampton on 24th May 1915, arriving at Le Havre on 26th May; this was the first time that the 61st Division had gone abroad. In July 1916, 61st Division was one of the two British Divisions used in the disastrous Battle of Fromelles, suffering heavy casualties.

On 14th October 1916, Samuel received 7 days Field Punishment No. 2 for "making an improper reply to an officer." The very next day he was admitted to Hospital (2nd South Midlands Field Ambulance) with influenza, returning to his unit on 21st October.

After Samuel's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/17/6d (4 pounds, 17 shillings and 6 pence); this was paid to his mother, Emma, in January 1918. His War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Emma in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Samuel had enlisted in September 1915.

Action resulting in his death

In March 1917, the Division had sufficiently rebuilt and recovered to be involved in the pursuit of the Germans to the Hindenburg Line, then on 16th-18th August 1917 in the Battle of Langemarck, part of the 3rd Ypres campaign.

After the Battle of Langemarck, and after resting for a week at Vlamertinghe, the Division took over a sector of the front line on the canal bank at Wieltje on 8th September 1917. On their last night in the sector (11th/12th September), the enemy maintained a prolonged bombardment by gas shells, claiming many victims. The Division was then withdrawn from the Ypres salient, transferring to Arras.

During this bombardment on 11th September 1917, Samuel inhaled gas from a gas shell and received treatment at the 1/2nd East Lancs Field Ambulance. On 14th and then the 16th September, he was reported as Seriously Ill (Gas Shell) at St John's Ambulance Brigade Hospital, Etaples, and on 21st September he died from the effects of gas at Etaples and was buried the same day.

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