WEBB, John

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Fate
  5. Commemoration
  6. Notes
  7. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
Army
Conflict
World War I
Date of Enlistment
12/01/1916
Place of Enlistment
Goulburn NSW

Personal Details

Gender
Male
Other Name(s)
Known as 'Jack'
Place of Birth
Canberra ACT
Address (at enlistment)
Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan NSW (previously 'Springvale' via Weetangera ACT)
School(s) Attended
Weetangerra (Weetangera) School
Occupation
Labourer
Next of Kin
Recorded in service records as Mrs Byrne (friend), Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan. He was the son of Thomas Webb and Ann McInnes.
Burial Place

France 245 Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension

Unit and Rank Details

Service Number
2257
Final Rank
Private
Final Unit
55 Battalion AIF

Fate

Died (killed in action) France, 2 April 1917

Commemoration

AWM Roll of Honour Memorial Panel 161, Canberra ACT
Weetangera Honor Roll, St. John's Schoolhouse Museum, Reid
Memorial plaque beneath crucifix beside altar in St Gregory's Church, Molonglo St, Queanbeyan. Donated by M.J. Byrne, Esq.
World War 1 Memorial, corner of Lowe St and Farrer Place, Queanbeyan NSW
Queanbeyan RSL Wall of Remembrance, Crawford St, Queanbeyan NSW

Notes

There is no Roll of Honour Circular for this man. Webb's mother Ann was the daughter of Gilbert McInnes who was an employee of Robert Campbell of Duntroon. She died in 1874 when Webb was a baby and his father Thomas deserted his family shortly afterwards. Webb was raised as a ward of Richard Shumack at Weetangerra.

Jack Webb was born in Canberra (probably at 'Springbank') on 9 July 1873. He was taken in as a baby by Shumack and grew up at Weetangera where he attended the school. (Shumack was fined in 1884 because Webb was truant). As a young man he played rugby with the Red and Blacks of Queanbeyan and was working as a barman at the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan when he enlisted as part of the Men from Snowy River route march in January 1916. He served as a Private with the 55th Battalion in France from the end of 1916 until 2 April 1917 when he was killed in action near Doignies on the Bapaume-Cambrai road. He was buried at Le Bucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, five miles east of Bapaume. According to his mate Jack Woodger, Webb was killed instantly - a bullet between the eyes. "Poor Webbie'" he wrote, "he was a good soldier. He stuck to me under heavy shell fire. We were both knocked by concussion and Jack pulled me up, remarking, 'Fritz won't get either of us after that Woodger, with his whiz bangs'".

The wife of the proprietor of the Royal Hotel, Mrs. Byrne (sister of Austin Chapman, MHR for Eden-Monaro), arranged for the erection of a Mission Cross in St. Gregory's Church in Queanbeyan in his memory. The military authorities were unable to trace his next of kin so that the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll were not sent out.

Description - height 5 feet 2 inches, weight 150 pounds, chest 37½ inches, ruddy complexion, blue eyes, sandy grey hair, Catholic, no civil convictions. A small plate was required in his top jaw and he had a scar on the left side of his back.

Sources

First World War Nominal Roll
First World War Unit Embarkation Rolls
AWM Roll of Honour Database
AWM Roll of Honour Circular
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)
Rex L. Cross, Bygone Queanbeyan, revised edition, 1985 (p.226).
Rex Cross and Bert Sheedy, Queanbeyan Pioneers - First Study, Queanbeyan, 1983 (p.88)
Leon R. Smith, Memories of Hall, Canberra, Roebuck Society, 1975 (p.50)
NSW Index to Births, 1873/17578.
Lyall Gillespie, 'Early Verse of the Canberra Region' (pp 90,91), 1994
Marilyn Folger, 'McInnes Family of Gilbert and Mary', 1998
National Library of Australia: Country Women's Association of NSW (Canberra Branch) History, 1959 (manuscript call no. NLA MS 734)
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'The Men from Snowy River', ACT Heritage Library www.library.act.gov.au/find/history/stories_from_the_act_memorial
Image from Our Queanbeyan 'Boys' No.4 postcard, Howard & Shearsby 191?, provided courtesy of Patricia Hardy.
Queanbeyan Age - 29 October 1884, 18 January 1916, 30 May 1916, 27 April 1917, 8 May 1917, 15 May 1917, 11 September 1917
Queanbeyan Leader - 23 March 1916
Photograph of Mission Cross, Elizabeth Burness, 2008

Create Certificate
Image from Our Queanbeyan 'Boys' No.4 postcard, Howard & Shearsby 191?, provided courtesy of Patricia Hardy.

Image from Our Queanbeyan 'Boys' No.4 postcard, Howard & Shearsby 191?, provided courtesy of Patricia Hardy.

Mission Cross in memory of Jack Webb, St. Gregory's, Queanbeyan. Image provided by Elizabeth Burness.

Mission Cross in memory of Jack Webb, St. Gregory's, Queanbeyan. Image provided by Elizabeth Burness.

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