Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
10 Jul 1916
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Charles William Webb, 13085, B Company, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action around Trones Wood on the Somme at the age of 18. Military records say he was killed on July 10th, while in a letter home his brother Eli in the same regiment said it happened on Sunday, July 9th.
Military records also say Charles was born in Barton, whereas the 1901 and 1911 Census returns say he was born in the parish of Caddington and he and his family were living at Farley Green, near Luton.
Charles was born in 1898 and baptised at St Andrew's Church, Woodside on July 10th of that year. He was the youngest of five sons of John Thomas and Ellen Webb. His father was a cowman on a farm and his mother a straw hat machinist.
News of Charles' death came in a letter to the family from the Rev A. D. Millen, a Chaplain to the Forces. He wrote: "I write to give you the sad news that your boy was killed yesterday, and to offer you my most sincere sympathy. It will, I am sure, bring you some consolation in your sorrow to know that we were able to bury him today quietly and reverently in a cemetery just behind the firing line which can be easily identified. We shall erect a little cross over his resting place as soon as possible."
And older brother Eli wrote: "We were in support trenches, and they were shelling us all the time. Charley was hit in the back and loins and died while being carried down to the doctor. I was not near him at the time and I did not get the news until next day. It was done on Sunday, the 9th."
Of his own experiences, Eli wrote: "This is an awful war. I don't know how I got out of it. The shells were dropping all round me. I have lost all my chums. I am at present all right, and I hope to come home safely some day."
Although there appears to have been no report in the Luton Press at the time, another of Mr and Mrs Webb's sons died of wounds sustained near Trones Wood on July 12th, 1916. Pte Josiah Webb, 18083, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was 26 years old.