Born 21st July 1880 Cardiff, Wales.
Died January 17th 1940 Folkestone Kent.
A difficult man to track down until you eventually find out he never married the mother of what appears to be his only two children, Annie Georgina Walsh.
In 1911 David Webb was staying at the Bull Wrotham with his wife of 2 years, Dorothy Anna Maria Webb, they married in the district of St Georges Hanover Square London in in 1908.
He is registered as married for 2 years, “Late of his Majesty’s Welsh Regiment” and born in Cardiff.
We also discover that our nan Annie Georgina Walsh was working at the same hotel as a hotel assistant, it would not be too wild a guess to believe this is where they met as within a few months of the census, he had left Dorothy and was living with Annie our nan, this is now confirmed by the divorce petition where it claims the affair had been going on since at least November 1911.
According to Dorothy’s petition against Captain David Webb “That the said David Webb has since November 1911 lived and committed adultery with the said Pattee Walsh” (nans nickname) “places including Thurland House, First Avenue, Gillingham in the county of Kent”.
So this confirms that David Webb of the Webb’s of Witley is indeed our grand father, it appears he took up residence with nan in Rowan Cottages Blean, Kent.
Several times during stays and documents he is referred to as Captain David Webb, however my research so far has only indicated his promotion to Lieutenant and no higher than that and in fact subsequent demotion, his first wife, Dorothy, on her death certificate is referred to as “widow Captain David Webb Welsh Regiment” and finally on his own death certificate he is recorded as “Captain Royal Welsh Fusiliers retired”, that would indicate his second wife knew him as a Captain as well.
There were numerous puzzles to solve along the way, for example we were told he was in the Buffs, West Kent regiment and yet it is quite clearly stated on the son David Webb, my father’s birth certificate “Retired Captain in the Welsh Regiment, so it’s odd to know where the information came from.
A copy of his sister Phyllis Joan’s birth certificate shows her father is down as David Webb but this time as a “Private Welsh Fusiliers, so this was another puzzle now resolved. This is partially explained later on when Lieutenant David Webb was disposed of by the king, scroll down to 1915 to see the statement in the London Gazette and his subsequent enlistment not in the Welsh Fusiliers but the Grenadier guards.
It is certain that nan Annie Walsh and grandfather Lieutenant David Webb ever married, no record has been found and at the time of our dads birth, David J Webb, his father was still married to his first wife, the divorce was not finalised until 1915.
After that I am unable to find a wedding between Annie and David between 1911 and 1920. Dad was born in 1913 his sister Joan in 1917 so they had a relationship for between 5 and 6 years.
Think therefore we can conclude they never married, thought they had a relationship, we can estimate at least 5 years as they met in 1911 at the Bull, Wrotham and the divorce papers naming her as the “other woman” state that Annie, nan and the Lieutenant started their relationship in that same year and Phyllis Joan, dads sister was born after mid year 1917 so she would have conceived sometime late in 1916.
On the 28th June 2011 I received the documents from the National Archives for Dorothy and David Webb’ divorce.
Petition filed 12 Sept 1913
Cause Set Down 30 Sept 1913
Decree nisi 9th December 1913
Final Decree 15 June 1914
3396 OF 1912
A few pages of build up, court information, Solicitors names etc.
Tells us they married on the 25th November 1908
between Dorothy Anna Maria Webb (then Stephens, spinster) the peititioner and
David Webb the respondent
Be dissolved by reason that since he celebration thereof the said respondent has been guilty of
adultery coupled with desertion of the petitioner he having failed to comply with a decree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights dated 18th June 1913.
Unless sufficient cause to be shown to the Court why this Degree should not be made absolute within Six Months from the making thereof, and condemned.
The Respondent, in the costs incurred and to be incurred on behalf of the said Petitioner in this Cause.
(It does not appear any children were involved as this part of the divorce paper has been lined out.)
Then a few pages of David ignoring Restitution of Conjugal Rights sufficient cause etc.
Copy of their marriage certificate then all hand written after that so all in Italics.
In the High Court of Justice
Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division,
To the Right Hon : the President
The 22nd day of August 1913
The petition of Dorothy Anna Maria Webb the lawful wife of David Webb sheweth :-
That on the 25th day of November 1908 Your Petitioner then Dorothy Anna Maria Stephens married David Webb at the Parish Church of Saint George, Hanover Square in the County of London
That after such marriage Your Petitioner lived and cohabited with the said David Webb at divers (means various) places and at 6, Vine Villas, Sevenoaks in the county of Kent and there is no issue of the said marriage now living
That Your Petitioner is now living at Red Cot, Fleet in the County of Southampton and the said David Webb is now living at 2 Rowan Cottages, Blean near Canterbury in the County of Kent and has no occupation and they are now both domiciled in England.
That the said David Webb has frequently committed adultery with Pattee Walcsh.
That the said David Webb has since November 1911 lived and committed adultery with the said Pattee Walcsh at divers places including Thurland House, First Avenue, Gillingham in the County of Kent where I saw them both.
That the said David Webb and Pattee Walsch are now living together at 2 Rowan Cottages, Blean aforesaid.
That on the 13th day of December 1912 Your Petitioner presented a Petition to this Honourable Court praying for a degree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights and that on the 18th day of June 1913 a decree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights pronounced by this Honourable Court.
That on the 6th day of August 1913 the said Decree was personally served on David Webb at “Fernleigh” 2 Rowan Cottages Blean near Canterbury in the County of Kent and that the said David Webb has failed to comply with the said Decree, and that he has thereby been guilty of Desertion without reasonable cause.
Save and except the before mentioned proceedings there have been no other in reference to the said marriage Your Petitioner therefore prays that your Lordship will decree :- That her marriage with the said David Webb may be dissolved and That she may have such further and other relief as may be just.
Dorothy Anna Maria Webb.
Believe a chronological list helps understand what happens so:
1880 Born in Cardiff to Francis and Catherine Wade Dalton Webb. He had English parents but his father was an officer, Captain, in the 41st Foot or Welch and later Welsh Regiment so we can conclude that grandfather David Webb was born whilst his father was stationed in Cardiff.
1881 Census living in Victoria Square, Belgravia with his parents and three servants.
1891 Census he is a pupil at Highcroft, Witley a school just down the road from Milford House where his grandfather lives and his father was born.
1899 As was the normal for people wanting to be officers in the army he buys himself a commission recorded as “3rdBattalion, the Norfolk Regiment, David Webb, Gent., to be Second Lieutenant. Dated 5th April, 1899.” (as recorded by the London Gazette 1899).
1900 On April 17th he is promoted :
The Norfolk Regiment, Lieutenant David Webb,
from 3rd Battalion, in succession to Lieutenant N. “D, Horsford, transferred to Indian Staff Corps.” (London Gazette)
Then on the 1st May 1900 :
“The Norfolk Regiment^ The appointment to Second Lieutenancy of Lieutenant D. Webb, from 3rd Battalion, which appeared in the Gazette of 17th April, 1900, is cancelled.” (London Gazette), there is no explanation.
Then further down the page :
“The Welsh Regiment, Lieutenant David Webb, from 3rd Battalion the Norfolk Regiment, to be Second Lieutenant, in succession to Lieutenant R. H. Metge, a prisoner of war. Dated 18th April, 1900.” (London Gazette)
The term second lieutenant is a junior ranking down from Lieutenant so it would appear to be a demotion although he is replacing a Lieutenant, R. H. Metge.
1901 Census he does not appear, that could almost certianly be because he was serving abroad, he was out in South Africa for the Boer war, that is recorded in the Welsh Museum in Wales where his medals are also kept. His mother and father are still in London and now have a daughter Rhoda Webb.
1906 December 28th he resigns his army commission “The Welsh Regiment, Lieutenant David Webb resigns his Commission. Dated 29th December, 1906” (London Gazette again). So it is at this point he gives up the army and retires.
1908 He marries Anna Dorothy Maria Stephens in London not far from where his parents live.
Dorothy as his second wife comes from a well heeled family, her father was late of Her Majestys 12th Royal Lancers and later JP for Essex, the family had a string of servants with a governess.
1910 First record found of bankruptcy proceedings against Lieutenant David Webb, a number more were to follow. Found four so far but was told by museum there were more, it maybe why he was staying in a hotel in 1911.
1911 Census, he is staying at the Bull Hotel Wrotham with his Wife Dorothy, Annie Georgina, our nan, works at the same hotel. At the time of the census his parents and now two sisters are living in Alton Hampshire. Divorce papers state he was living with Annie Georgina, nan, from November 1911.
1912 His wife Dorothy petitions for divorce based on “Restitution of conjugal rights”, This same year our father David Webb is conceived by Annie Georgina, nan.
1913 On 19th February our father is born at Springfield, Manor Road Whitstable, Kent. Anna Maria Webb, petitions this time for divorce.
1914 Divorce to Dorothy, Final Decree goes through the court.
1914 First World War breaks out, we find out he re-enlists and can be certain that he re-joins the army by what happens the following year.
1915 He is no longer required in the army and the following appears in the London Gazette.
“GENERAL RESERVE OF OFFICERS. INFANTRY.
Lieutenant David Webb is removed from the Army, The King having no further occasion for his services. Dated 28th November, 1915. “
It seemed odd at a time when the war was just building up and initially we did not know why this occurred subsequently we found out that there were at least 4 bankruptcy court hearings against him and that is very likely why he was dismissed from the army.
1915 All credit to him, David Webb now enlists in the Grenadier guards as a private, his is promoted to acting Sergeant and is wounded see email below :
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 19 December 2013 10:04
Subject: 25109 Acting Sergeant David WEBB
Dear Mr Webb
Your grandfather joined the Grenadier Guards on 15th December 1915 aged 35 and after training was sent to 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards in France on 17th March 1917, where he remained until 16th November 1917, when he returned home to 5th Reserve Battalion in London. He was wounded on 16th July 1917, but I have no details of the injury. 3rd Battalion were preparing for a setpiece attack on Boesinghe, around the forest area at Herzeele on that day.
Your grandfather’s record shows that he served with 1 Welsh for six years, retiring in 1906. It would seem that you have found your man!
If you would like copy of his service record, please send cheque for £30, payable to Regimental Adjutant Grenadier Guards.
1916 We know by then that Nan and my father David Webb have moved to Twickenham, there is a birthday card from his grandfather Maurice John Walsh, now in Canada for this year as well as a Christmas card from an Aunty Maggie. Of course it is possible that as she had no permanent address with Captain Webb that she had mail sent to her sister who lived there.
Phyllis Joan Webb is most likely conceived with nan late in the year as Aunty Joan was born July the following year.
We had assumed that Nan had left the Captain in Kent and moved away to have Aunty Joan, however the cards would indicate she got pregnant in Twickenham or as stated above the address was merely a forwarding one.
1917 July 14th Aunty Joan is born registered in Richmond Surrey, we believe for a while she moved in with or near to her sister, the war is still on and down on Aunty Joan’s birth certificate he is now down as “David Webb, Private, Welsh Fusiliers”.
We had discovered after being removed from being an officer he re-enlisted as a private. We know now that is exactly what happened, he joined the Grenadier Guards as a private or guardsman. It is probable that at this point she is no longer with “Captain” David Webb.
1927 Captain David Webb marries Marjorie Bruce Barmby, born in the USA but would appear to come from a fairly wealthy family in the UK. In the 1911 census we find her living with her great aunt in Burton Grange, York with half a dozen servants.
1940 Whilst living at 6, Wellington Terrace, Folkestone, Kent he dies, his death is registered by his widow.
Death was registered 18th January 1940 exactly 10 years before I was born, he died the day before.
Please click here to view his death certificate. His brother in law, by marriage to his sister Rhoda, Douglas Farquar Glennie is involved in the handling of the estate.
1940 June This appears in the London Gazette :
“In the Matter of the Trusts of a Re-Settlement, dated 14th July, 1906, of the Milford House Estate, Milford, Surrey.
NOTICE is hereby given pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925 Section 27 (as amended): —i. That all persons claiming to be lawful children or issue of the late DAVID WEBB Esq. who died on the i7th January 1940 at 6, Wellington Terrace, Folkestone, Kent are hereby required to send in particulars of their claims giving their full Christian and surnames and the date and place of their birth to the undersigned the Solicitors for the present Trustees of the said re-settlement on or before the 24th day of August 1940. 2. That after that day the said Trustees will proceed to convey distribute or otherwise deal with the property and investments and the income thereof subject to the trusts of the said resettlement having regard only to the claims of persons entitled thereunder of which the said Trustees shall then have notice and that they will not be liable for any part of the said property investments and income so dealt with to any person of whose claim they shall not then have had notice. —Dated this 17th day of June 1940.
MONIER WILLIAMS and MILROY, 79, Mark Lane, London, E.G.3, Solicitors for the said (066) Trustees.”
Maybe reading too much into it but it does seem strange for an estate to ask to find “lawful children or issue” worded like this, I went through several other notices and none where quite like this.
It did take me sometime to find out when Captain David Webb died, Marjorie his second wife registered his death, on the death recorded in the books his age did not match the records as we would have expected, this David Webb was 4 years older, so in the initial research he was missed, however a copy of his death certificate reveals that three months after his death the certificate was corrected, down the far right side of the certificate, once this correction is taken into account his age and all details therefore fit Captain David Webb including his profession ETC on his death certificate and it is a 100 percent match.
The correction to the certificate “For entry ?? 38col is for “63” read ‘59’ corrected on the 11th March 1940 by the ?? registrar on production of a statutory declaration made by Marjorie Bruce Webb and ?? Barmby” (her maiden name).
This coupled with a London Gazette entry showing David Webb of the Webb family of Witley, Surrey from the same address as the deceased confirms it. To make the evidence concrete that it is one and the same David Webb who was the son of Francis David Webb and married Dorothy Stephens in 1908 we find in the probate record was administered by Douglas Farquar Glennie who married Mary Webb, sister of Captain David Webb in 1912 in Alton Hants and was therefore his brother in law. This information re the incorrect initial information of his age at death was partly the reason it took me some time, over a year in fact, to finally discover when and how Captain David Webb died.
1957 Dorothy Anna Maria his first wife dies in Exmouth, Devon.
1958 Annie Georgina Webb our nan dies registered in Brentford, West London.
1974 His second wife, Marjorie Bruce Webb dies registered in Dover, Kent.
According to my father, his mother, our nan, had always claimed that her “husband” Captain David Webb died of the black flu in around 1918 or just after the war. I have been unable to find anyone that matches his criteria who died between 1916 and 1926. Further research has not identified anyone matching his birth time and place apart from the David Webb who died in 1940, without doubt the same one written on dads and sister Aunty Joan’s birth certificates.
We can be virtually certain that the David Webb, Welsh army officer had parents who moved from London to Holybourne Lodge, Alton, Hampshire, his parents moved with two daughters, Mary and Rhoda. At the time of the 1911 Census they were living in Holybourne House, Alton Hants with several servants. Captain David Webb at this time, 1911 census, was staying in the Bull Hotel Wrotham with his first wife, Dorothy Anna Maria Stephens, our nan Annie Georgina Walsh is working at the Hotel, it is not an enormous leap of faith to believe this is where they first meet, though that is purely surmising.
2013 December was the time I received final confirmation of grandfather David Webb and his signing up for the Guard, my motto for Ancestry is never give up!.