2613670 Leo Sydney WEBSTER, 1 Grenadier Guards: 01/06/1940 - 29/07/1940

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by Dennis 2, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Dennis 2

    Dennis 2 Junior Member

    Personal Number: 2613770
    Rank: Lance Corperal
    Name: William Leo Sydnew WEBSTER
    Units: Grenadier Guards, 1 Bn.

    Webster died between July 16 and July 24 1940. At first glance I thought this was during the Dunkirk Invasion. This is however not the case. His death was a month later. Also there is no mention of him in the killed and missing lists.

    Has anyone any idea what could have happened?

    Dennis (2)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2020
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Incorrect number. (I've edited thread title)
    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Service Number: 2613670
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Grenadier Guards
    1st Bn.
    Date of Death
    Died Between 01 June 1940 and 29 July 1940
    Age 28 years old
    Buried or commemorated at NOORDWIJK GENERAL CEMETERY
    Grave Reference: Plot 1. Joint grave 7.
    Location: Netherlands
    Additional Info: Son of Capt. Sidney Josiah Webster, M.C., and Elizabeth Catherine Webster.

    In regimental history list of fatal casualties it says was Killed in Action 1/6/40*

    * indicates an approximate date of death.
    2020-11-29 17.25.27.jpg

    Dennis 2 Where do you get the Royal Fusiliers info from ?
    His number shows he enlisted into the Grenadiers.
    Army Number Block Allocations | WW2Talk
    Grenadier Guards 2604001 - 2646000

    Royal Fusiliers 6446001 - 6515000
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  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The obvious question, even if there is a long delay, have you requested his service records?

    Which unit was he with in 1940? My recollection is that the Grenadier Guards were at Dunkirk prior to evacuation. No idea where the Royal Fusiliers were. There were large numbers of British military in France after Dunkirk, being evacuated from ports along the Atlantic coast.

    There is a sparse chronology of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards here: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project - I assume if you pay to join it provides more details.

    The unit was part of the rearguard, taken from a brief overview on: Dunkirk - Defence of the Perimeter » Dunkirk 1940 - The Before, The Reality, The Aftermath Is it possible he was badly injured, so remained behind with a hospital and became a PoW. Or he was injured earlier in Belgium. Such were his injuries he passed away. I note he was the only serviceman buried in the Dutch cemetery around that time, so it is reasonable to assume he was alone.

    Amidst all the threads here on Dunkirk there could be details on how many Grenadiers were evacuated and left behind.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ah, that cemetery is in a coastal town.
    I would say his body was washed along the coast by the sea.
    I have seen burials east of Dunkirk of men who were killed there.
    Don't ask me who as that was back in 2006 / 2007.
    Edit: ah - they were Dieppe casualties buried at De Panne.
    Still their bodies were carried eastwards by the tide.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  6. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    2613670 Webster
    Casualty List No 238 dated 22 June 40 - Reported missing 2.6.40
    Casualty List No 443 dated 20 February 41 - Reported died, Date Not Reported
    Casualty List No 690 dated 9 December 41 - Reported KIA 'At sea' 1/6 - 29/7/40

    Any reason you give his first name as William, are you looking for the right man?
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  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Best guess from me, evacuated during Op Dynamo and drowned in the Channel and his body was discovered on the Dutch coast some weeks later. There are other cases of this happening during the Dunkirk evacuations.
  9. Dennis 2

    Dennis 2 Junior Member

    Sorry guys, I don’t know how Fusiliers got in this post. But I’m sure I made the mistake. The service number is a type. I’ve tried to correct the post but no luck yet…

    That is odd.
    Some time ago I contacted the CWGC.
    The date on his headstone : July 29 1940 is the date of his burial but he was found on the beach on July 24 1940. I thought they would want to correct that. For some reason they left that as it was but changed the July 16 to June 1st. Just look at the picture of his tombstone. I can only assume the CWGC discovered a typo.

    June 1st makes more sense. It’s the day that 1st battalion was evacuated. Your info “ KIA at sea” must means that he died after leaving the beach, either trying to reach a ship or on a ship. The general current along the coast is North so after almost two months his remains had reached Noordwijk.

    I was wondering if anyone knows if his service record will contain more than we have been able to gather so far?

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