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The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House.
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The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House. The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House. The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House. The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House. The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House.
Item:

The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House.

Product Code: CMA/20354
Price: £1,450.00
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Description:

The exceptional Great War Fifth Battle of Ypres Platoon Commander’s Military Cross group awarded to Lieutenant W.R. Webb, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, late 26th Bankers Battalion and Machine Gun Corps, who on 29th September at Gheluvelt Ridge, ‘captured his objective in the face of heavy fire’ and then walked about between the posts encouraging his men whilst under sniper, machine gun and shell fire, before further distinguishing himself on 2nd October in the failed attack on Burbury House and Harrod House.

Group of 3: Military Cross, GVR cypher; British War Medal and Victory Medal; (2.LIEUT. W.R. WEBB.); first with original fitted presentation case, last two with their individual named card boxes of issue, and the forwarding envelope addressed to: ‘W.R. Webb Esq., M.C., 139 Colchester Road, Leyton, E.10.’

Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.

Together with the following original documentation:

War Office Letter notifying him of his relinquishment of commission in the Special Reserve, dated 3rd May 1920.

Printed Army Orders from General Sir Herbert Plumber, Commanding Second Army giving notice of Webb’s award amongst others.

Newspaper cutting detailing the award of his Military Cross, and what he won it for.

William Roy Webb was born on 16th October 1895 at New House, Chetwynd, Newport, Shropshire, the son of a farmer, he was educated at Rosenvat House School in Newport, and then at Newport Grammar School before going on to work as a bank clerk for the staff of Barclays at the Old Top Bank in Dudley.

With the outbreak of the Great War, when working at the bank in Dudley and living in Warley, Birmingham, he was one of twenty members of his bank branch to attest for service with the British Army, and Webb attested at High Beech on 11th December 1915, joining as a Private (No.23007) the 26th Service Battalion – Bankers, Royal Fusiliers, being posted to the battalion on 10th December 1915.

Posted to the 31st Reserve Battalion, Royal Fusiliers on 3rd February 1916, he then rejoined the 26th Battalion on 17th March 1916, and would have seen active service with his battalion on the Western Front from 4th May 1916, when it saw service as part of the 12th Brigade in the 41st Division.

Having taken part in the Battle of the Somme, Webb then transferred as a Private (No.70465) into the Machine Gun Corps on 30th November 1916, and was posted to the 124th Machine Gun Company ‘in the field’ on that date. Webb was then posted home in order to become an officer cadet, being posted to No.1 Machine Gun Corps Cadet Battalion Company at the Depot on 7th February 1917, he was found unsuitable to take up an appointment for a commission with the Machine Gun Corps and was therefore transferred to the 12th Officer Cadet Battalion on 7th June 1917, and was then discharged on his being appointed to a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Special Reserve on 25th September 1917.

Webb was then posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion, Royal Fusiliers on 13th October 1917, and posted on active service to join the 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, which was then on service on the Western Front with the 86th Brigade in the 29th Division

Webb was decorated with the Military Cross for his gallantry in action when in command of his platoon in front of Ypres during the operations from 28th September to 2nd October 1918 known as the Fifth Battle of Ypres which lasted from 28th September to 2nd October 1918.

The citation reads as follows: ‘For gallantry and initiative in command of his platoon in front of Ypres during the operations of September 28th to October 2nd. On September 29th he captured his objective in face of heavy fire, and later in the day, when his line was heavily shelled, he walked between his posts encouraging his men by his own example. On October 2nd he again distinguished himself by fearless leadership under heavy fire. Throughout the operations he behaved most gallantly.’ Webb’s award of the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette on 30th July 1919.

On the 28th September 1918 his battalion had taken over from the positions captured by the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers and had pushed on through, suffering casualties but taking a number of prisoners in the area of Stirling Castle Ridge and Clapham Junction Ridge, and rushed the enemy in the area of Polderhoek Ridge and Cameron Ridge. At this time the enemy were defending series of pillboxes, each of which had to be carried in the face of machine gun fire. By midnight the 88th Brigade had pushed down the Menin Road to Gheluvelt.

At 6.30 am on the 29th September the Battalion continued the advance, and captured the ridge at Gheluvelt, suffering more casualties and taking considerable numbers of prisoners. A position was then established along the ridge, and held all day, with ‘considerable execution done to the enemy by machine gun and Lewis gun fire’ especially along the reverse slope of the ridge. The battalion itself suffered from enemy machine gun and snipers’ fire which was very persistent all day, and the latter part of the day experienced considerable hostile shelling. It must have been at this time that Webb walked between his posts established along the ridge.

His battalion was relieved that night having suffered 10 killed, 30 wounded, and 7 missing. The battalion returned to the forward positions on 1st October, and on 2nd October, zero hour being at 7 am, they endeavoured to seize Burbury House and Harrod House with the aid of a bombardment of trench mortars and covering machine gun fire, but were unable to do it owing to heavy enemy machine gun fire and casualties were suffered. The enemy at this stage held Gheluew Switch fairly strongly with machine guns, which held up any further advance, and the 88th Brigade was entirely held up. The 2nd Battalion was relieved that night. In total over the four days of fighting, the battalion had suffered 4 officers wounded, 10 other ranks killed, 1 died of wounds and 45 wounded, 2 gassed, and 10 missing.

Webb was eventually promoted to Lieutenant and relinquished his commission in the Special Reserve on 3rd May 1920.