Edmund John Webb

From towers to trenches, we remember Edmund John Webb

Edmund John Webb aka Jack Wharton was born in 1891 in Great Milton, near Oxford. He moved to Maids Moreton around the time of his Mum’s marriage to Mr W H Wharton of Wellmore, Maids Moreton and it was here that he learned to ring and successfully rang the treble to a peal of Grandsire Doubles. After leaving school Jack was employed by Major Lynch at Moreton Lodge as a gardener until c1910 when accompanied by William J Gough, steward of Lord Penrhyn he moved to Llandegar near Bangor in Wales. He was employed by Mr Gough as a gardener.

Photo - EJ WebbIn the final quarter of 1911 Jack married Hilda Hedges the daughter of Thomas and Julia Hedges from Fenny Stratford in Bangor Anglesey. Hilda was at that time employed as a Servant in Llandegai, Caernarvonshire.  Jack became a member of the Penrhyn Fire Brigade during which time his two children were born.

Jack continued his interest in bell ringing and sometime in 1911/12 joined the band at St David’s. It was at St David’s that he made rapid progress in his ringing, mastering the standard methods and Double Norwich and Cambridge Surprise Major. Although he hadn’t had the chance to ring a peal in any of these methods he was looking forward to doing so on his return from the war.

When war was declared Jack traveled to nearby Carnarvon to enlist.  He joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and for a time the regiment was stationed at Northampton; Jack made the most of the time there by assisting with the ringing at St Edmund’s church. Later Jack became a corporal in the 1st/6th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On the 2nd July the division was ordered to refit for Service in the Mediterranean. They sailed on the 25thJuly via Alexandria and reached Lemnos between the 29th and 7th August. On the 9th August the units landed at Suvia Bay, Gallipoli. Whilst deployed in the August Offensive of the Battle of Gallipoli Jack was injured and was transferred to the military hospital in Alexendria, It is likely that he died during the transfer and was buried at sea. His name is recorded on panels 77-80 of the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

The bells of St David’s were rung half muffled for his memorial service which was held on the 12th September and on the following day a peal of Grandsire Triples was rung in memory of Edmund John Webb aka Jack.

Information sources

Census records for 1911, 1891

Commonwealth war graves commission

Buckinghamshire remembers