Military Career of William Charles Webb 1884-1955

Photo of William Charles WEBB in Naval Uniform

I never met my paternal Grandfather as he died before I was born and very little was ever said about him by my Dad. The only pieces of information I had about him other than his date of birth was a photo of him in Naval Uniform and in 2003 when my Aunt Margaret WEBB died a book of postcards was discovered from him to her mother during his service in the Royal Navy. So there was little to go on by fortunately there are a number of Navy records online which some great details about his service.

I started off by looking through the census records for my Grandfather. In 1891 when he was 7 he could be found living with his parents George & Elizabeth and his brothers and sisters at Beddingham, East Sussex next to the Level Crossing which his father used to be in charge of. In 1901he was aboard the Duke of Wellington in Portsmouth as a stoker in the Royal Navy. The Duke of Wellington being a retired ship used for training purposes. When the 1911 census records finally came out he was a stoker petty officer at the Royal Naval Barracks in Chatham.

1911 census showing William as a Stoker Petty Officer at the Royal Naval Barracks in Chatham

I was able to use the National Archives online to find the service Record for my Grandfather which are originally from the National Archives ADM188 Registers of Seamen’s Services 1900-1928.

The record starts off by giving details about William’s date and place of birth as well as his physical characteristics. It then continued giving a complete service record upon each ship that he worked and his rating, as well as his character. He started off as a stoker on the Duke of Wellington on February 1901 as we saw in the 1901 census and then moved to various other ships before becoming a Leading Stoker in 1907 aboard the HMS Fisgard, another training vessel. In 1908 he became Acting Stoker Petty Officer aboard the HMS Terrible before being made Stoker Petty Officer in 1911 aboard the HMS Spanker. In 1912 he became an Acting Mechanician aboard the HMS Pembroke II. Just before the outbreak of the First World War he became a Mechanician aboard the HMS Hercules. He then served aboard a number of ships during the First World War before becoming an Acting Chief Mechanician on the HMS Greenwich after it ended in 1919. He then became a Chief Mechanician aboard the HMS Argus which was an aircraft carrier converted from an Ocean Liner. He was then shore pensioned in 1922 whilst aboard the HMS Victory II.

HMS Argus (one of the postcards that WIlliam Webb sent home to his wife)

I have started to look at where each of the ships noted on his service record was at that time to see what happened to William during the First World War. There are lots of websites that are very useful in doing this and this is now my ongoing research. His marriage certificate to his second wife, my Grand mother Sarah Bridget WHITE showed that he had put his skills learned during his Naval career to good use and was working as a Marine Engine Fitter.

DNA – What can it tell you?

It took me a while to get around to it, but finally I got my DNA test done and linked to my ancestry tree. Managed to get it on one of their deals so it cost a little less.
They send you a small box with a plastic tube you add saliva to and then add some other liquid which stabilises it I guess. This then gets sent back to their labs in America.
It takes some time to get there and you get notified when it arrives. You then have to wait a few weeks more for it to be tested and the results published.
You then get your DNA story which gives you a break down of how your DNA is made up of DNA from different regions around the world. You also get matches with any other people who have submitted their DNA.
So how did mine look.

No great surprises!
You can drill down a little further and I have links to Cornwall, South-East and East Anglia, all of which are found in my family history.
The smaller 1% parts are the historical aspects of my DNA which shows how people migrated to and from different areas.

Did I expect a little more?
Probably, but there are other DNA programs out there you can upload your DNA to and I will talk about them later, as well as the cousin matches.

Lucy Emma Carter

Lucy Emma Carter, daughter of Timothy Elphick  and Emma Jane Carter, was born in 1853 in Brighton, Sussex, England and was christened on 11 Jun 1854 in St Nicholas’, Brighton, Sussex, England. Lucy married Charles Levi Webb, son of Charles Webb and Mary Pilbeam, on 15 Jun 1874 in Hastings, Sussex, England.

Noted events in her life were:
• She had a residence in 1871 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1881 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
• She worked as an Upholsterer in 1881 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
• Divorce: on 15 Aug 1884.

Philip John Beare

Philip John Beare, son of Robert Beare and Sarah Oldman, was born about 1840 in Burgh St Peter, Norfolk, England, was christened on 10 Sep 1848 in Suffolk County Bts, Suffolk, England, and died in 1880 in Islington, London, England aged about 40.

Philip married Caroline Webb, daughter of John Webb and Sarah Hiscock, on 20 Jul 1862 in St Johns, Paddington, London. Caroline was born in 1817 in Catsfield, Sussex, England, was christened on 19 Oct 1817 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England, and died in 1891 in Paddington, Middlesex, England aged 74. They had no children.

Marriage Notes: Profession of Groom: Licensed Victualler
Abode of groom: Hyde Park Square
Abode of Bride: Brindley Street
Father of Groom: Robert, Butcher
Father of Bride: John Webb, labourer
Witnesses: George Wright, Athelia Gregory

Alice Webb

Alice Webb was born in 1866 in Catsfield, Sussex, England and was christened on 1 Apr 1866 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.

Noted events in her life were:
• She had a residence in 1871 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1881 in Hastings St Mary Magdalen, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1891 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1901 in Bexhill, Sussex, England.
• She resided at Down Barn in 1911 in Battle, Sussex, England.

Alice married William Ballard in 1901 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.

Harriet Webb

Harriet Webb was born in 1853 in Catsfield, Sussex, England, was christened on 6 Nov 1853 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England, died in 1890 in Catsfield, Sussex, England aged 37, and was buried on 7 May 1890 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England.

Noted events in her life were:
• She had a residence in 1861 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1871 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1881 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.

She had one daughter: Ada.

Stephen Webb

Stephen Webb was born in 1850 in Catsfield, Sussex, England and was christened on 6 Oct 1850 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England.
General Notes: Kelly’s Directory of Kent, Surrey and Sussex 1891 Catsfield Stephen Webb – Cowkeeper
1885 Eastern Sussex District Blue Book Catsfield – Stephen Webb

Noted events in his life were:
• He was baptised on 6 Oct 1850 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He had a residence in 1851 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He had a residence in 1861 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He worked as an Agricultural Labourer in 1871.
• He had a residence in 1871 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He owned land in 1873 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He worked as an Agricultural Labourer in 1881.
• He had a residence in 1881 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He worked as a Gardener Domestic in 1891.
• He had a residence in 1891 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He worked as a Gardener in 1901.
• He had a residence in 1901 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• He resided at Henleys Down in 1911 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.

Frances Webb

Frances Webb was born in 1846 in Catsfield, Sussex, England and was christened on 27 Dec 1846 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England. Another name for Frances was Fanny Webb.

Noted events in her life were:
• She had a residence in 1851 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1851 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1861 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1871 in St Mary Magdalene, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1881 in Hastings St Leonards, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1891 in St Leonard, Sussex, England.
• She had a residence in 1901 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.
• She resided at Henleys Down in 1911 in Catsfield, Sussex, England.

Ann Webb

Ann Webb was born in 1845 in Catsfield, Sussex, England, was christened on 13 Jul 1845 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England, died in 1845 in Catsfield, Sussex, England, and was buried on 4 Jan 1846 in St Lawrence, Catsfield, Sussex, England.