Lieutenant Richard Randall Webb

 

Richard Randall Webb about 1912

 

Richard Randall Webb was born on 14 November 1884 at Greenisland, County Antrim, eldest son of linen merchant Richard Thomas Webb and his wife Blanche Louise Webb (formerly Stromeyer), granddaughter of a Hamburg businessman.

On the outbreak of war, Webb was the senior director of the family business, Ards Weaving Company Ltd, Newtownards, and lived at Rath House, Knock, County Down.

On 15 September 1914 he enlisted at Belfast in the Royal Engineers (No.28295). Two days later he was promoted to corporal. Webb was posted to the Motor Cyclist Section of the Royal Engineers.

He embarked for France on 30 September 1914.

On 14 October Webb was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's Signal Squadron and on 10 February 1915 transferred to the 1st Signal Troop. On 11 November 1915 he was allowed to England on furlough, rejoining his unit in the field on 15 April 1916.

Webb was awarded a Military Medal for bravery in the field in October 1916, though the action for which this was earned is not known.

On 11 December he applied for a commission. He was posted to No.1 Cavalry Cadet Squadron at Netheravon, reporting for duty on 22 February 1917. He was made a 2nd lieutenant on 29 June and was posted to the North Irish Horse, joining the reserve regiment at Antrim the following month.

It appears that he remained at Antrim until the end of the war. On 19 April 1918 he married Alice Muriel Chamberlain at Carrickfergus.

On 29 December 1918 Webb was promoted to lieutenant. He was demobilised on23 January 1919 and resigned his commission on 1 April 1920.

Webb remained in Northern Ireland after the war. He died on 14 June 1972.

 

One of Lieutenant Webb's brothers, Captain Gilbert Watson Webb, served in the Royal Irish Rifles. After being wounded he was attached to No.22 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. On 1 July 1916, while flying an FE2b over the German lines on the Somme front he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and forced to land at Douchy. Captain Webb died and his observer was taken prisoner.

 

Captain Gilbert Watson Webb

 

First image sourced from Ancestry.com public tree by Nigel McKendrick. Second image sourced from Belfast and The Great War by Keith Haines.