Henry J. Webb – Soldier Gone Rogue

Henry J Webb was a soldier in the Regular Army, having enlisted in 1913. He had therefore spent considerable time at the Western front before he was shot for desertion in 1917. After a very heavy barrage seemed more than he could stand, his sympathetic platoon commander referred him to the battalion doctor. It seems the doctor however gave him short shrift, prescribing “medicine and duty.” Henry then went absent without leave and was missing for two months before caught for the theft of a French civilian’s wallet. He was already under a five years suspended prison sentence for a previous crime.  He was shot on the 31st October in the French village of Lederzeele. He was buried in the churchyard there.

He had earned the 1914 Star medal but this was forfeited for desertion so never awarded. He was also denied the War Gratuity for the same reason so there is no record of any family member this would have been paid to.

Although we know Henry was a Yorkshire man we know very little else about him, having found no biographical clues in the Army records and drawn a blank with Census records too.

If anyone has family stories handed down or information about Henry from their own records we would be very grateful if you could share the information with us.

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