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Webb, Gordon Geoffrey Henry

    Date of birth:
    April 1920
    Date of death:
    February 1991
    Service number:
    126230
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Gordon Webb was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond. After school he worked for the family fruit-importing business in Glasgow.

    In August 1939 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery and was posted to 30 Field Regiment in France. Soon after his return to England he volunteered to join the Commandos and took for his first mission part in the attack on the Lofoten Islands, code-named "Operation Claymore", and launched in March 1941 which proved to be succesful. Webb’s next raid was on Hardelot, near Boulogne in April 1942 after which he led 'B' Troop again during the raid on Dieppe where Webb was hit in the shoulder by a mortar fragment just before the ramp of the L.C.A. lowered to storm the beach.

    On D-Day Webb and his men landed on Sword beach. After storming the beach and making their way up to the enemy’s wire, Webb and his men achieved in linking up with the Airborne on the River Orne. Webb and No. 4 Commando remained on active service in France until early September. In the assault on Walcheren on November 1st, 1944, which was essential for the Allies to use the port of Antwerp, Webb was assigned the task of capturing Flushing. After storming the beaches they quickly encountered severe opposition in the streets. After the arrival of reinforcements, the area was by midnight cleared of German troops. Subsequently Webb was to capture the island of Walcheren which succeeded after close combat fighting.

    After the end of the war, he was put in charge of a rehabilitation camp on Anglesey for ex-P.O.Ws of the Japanese. Demobbed in 1946, he returned to his family’s fruit importing business in Glasgow, but finally settled in Brighton where he worked as an insurance broker.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Unit:
    No. 4 Commando, Combined Operations Headquarters, War Office, British Government
    Awarded on:
    December 1940
    Awarded for:
    Operation Archery
    Lieutenant Webb had been detailed to seize the Post Office and the only hotel in SVOLVER. This he did with incedible speed and thoroughness thus stopping all communications to the Mainland from the formad (?). Had it not been for his quick action, news of the raid would undoubtedly have reached NARVIK before it did, with consequences which might have been fatal to our forces. I recommend this Officer for the Military Cross or other recognition for his valuable services during this operation
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Recommendation:
    "I have pleasure in recommending Captain Webb for a Military Cross or other suitable award, for his fine leadership when in command of a fighting patrol on the French coast between Hardelot village and Boulogne on the night of 21-22 April 1942. He led his patrol inland for a distance of half-a-mile despite heavy machine-gun fire from various strong points on the coast. He reached his objective - a searchlight battery - and having cut the wire and destroyed all the lateral telephone communications round it, was about to deliver a final assault when the Recall Signal from the beach compelled him to return. The information gained on this patrol was of great importance, and the enemy defences which encountered it were all driven out and forced to retire. He brought his patrol back without suffering any casualties, and I attribute the success of this patrol entirely to his good leadership."
    The original recommendation was submitted by Major the Lord Lovat.
    Recommendation:
    "Captain Webb was wounded by mortar fire on the beaches [at Dieppe] during the initial landing. His right arm became useless but he insisted in going forward and led the whole of his force across country to the concentration area in the rear of the German battery. In the final assault Captain Webb led a bayonet charge, using a revolver and grenades with his left hand. His troops accounted for many of the enemy, including several officers."

    Second MC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first MC.
    Awarded as an immediate MC.

    Sources

    Photo