Leading Stoker Herbert Randall Webber - HMS Odin

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by indypendypuss, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. indypendypuss

    indypendypuss Member

    The adjoining community to mine i.e. Portishead has just just loaded an Online Book of Remembrance after many hours of researching their casualties on their War Memorial plaques. Having undertaken a similar exercise for my own community I decided to have a look and found a few names there which had "no information available" against them. Using Geoff's Search engine the most easy to identify seemed to be the above and I set about researching him using FBMD but kept on hitting snags.

    Then thanks to Ancestry I discovered he was from St John's, New Foundland and was born in 1913. In 1927 his mother, Herbert and his three younger sisters landed at Liverpool on their way to with a Rev Rogers, from Ashford in Middlesex. Herbert's father was a clergyman but I am not sure if he paved the way earlier. CWGC have him living with Herbert's Mum, Isabel Mary Webber, post war in a suburb of Bristol not far from here but I have my doubts about that based on a 1939 Register entry for an isabel Mary Webber and her daughter Janet which is Herbert's youngest sister's name. Ancestry say Herbert was living at Thornbury, just north of Bristol, in 1927 and 1929 but that is far as I can get. I need to find a connection to Portishead and am wondering if his service records might help ? Could someone help on this ?

    I intend to see if I can trace living ancestors through his three younger sisters but I have multiple marriage options to circumnavigate. I do not believe Herbert married as the two H R Webber marriages I discovered in Woolwich (Bird) and Chipping Sodbury (Hawkins) belong to a Herbert Reubens Webber and Herbert Randolph Webber.

    I have put many hours into getting this far and would love to find a connection to Portishead. Another casualty on HMS Odin came from Bristol but I have discounted this as being a connection.


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I assume this is the same man

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Herbert Randall Webber
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 17 Jul 1912
    Birth Place: St. John's Newfoundland
    Death Date: 27 Jun 1940
    Death Age: 27

    Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974
    Name: Herbert Randall Webber
    Residence Year: 1929
    Parliamentary Division: Thornbury
    Residence Place: Gloucestershire, England


    Attached Files:

  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    From: Family History - Royal Navy and Naval History.Net
    WEBBER, Herbert R, Stoker 1c, D/KX 80647, Odin, 14 June 1940, ship loss, MPK

    ODIN (Lt Cdr K Mac I Woods+), 14th June 1940, Central Mediterranean, off southern Italy in Gulf of Taranto (c39.30N, 17.30E) - by depth charges of Italian warships. Sailed from Alexandria, Egypt for patrol in Gulf of Taranto, attacked late on the 13th by destroyer ‘Strale’ with torpedoes and gunfire and then probably damaged by depth charges. Shortly after midnight as she surfaced, sighted by destroyer ‘Baleno’, attacked again with depth charges and sunk. All 56 crew lost, including the Chinese steward (Italian Gulf of Taranto patrol).

    This is the official Italian version of the loss, HMS Odin (N 84) of the Royal Navy - British Submarine of the O class - Allied Warships of WWII - uboat.net gives this version as well but also points out that subsequent events have cast doubt on this theory.

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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)
    Name: Herbert Randall Webber
    Death Date: 27 Jun 1940
    Death Place: Somerset, England
    Probate Date: 4 Jul 1941
    Registry: Bristol
    This give his wife at time of probate as Isabel Mary and also ties him by the address to Portishead, ie Crossways, Bristol Road, Portishead, Somerset. Although having said that I cannot find a marriage for him within the UK, so is it possible that Isabel was his sister and she was a widow from her husband ?? - Isabel Mary Webber is of couse his mother - stupid me, slow but usually get there o_O

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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    There is an interesting anomaly here over the date of death. All information that I can find has HM S/M Odin as being sunk on 14 June 1940. Date of death from CWGC for crew gives 27 June 1940 as does TD's info for Leading Stoker Webber. Having seen this raised before it would seem that the probable explanation is that the 27 June date is the date Odin was officially posted as missing by the Admiralty but that subsequently, much later, information (probably from Italian records) became available and it was established that Odin was sunk on 14 June.

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  6. indypendypuss

    indypendypuss Member

    Thanks I found It this morning thanks to Ancestry's free weekend. A eureka moment. I had found Mum on the 1939 Register living with younger sister Janet and listed as a widow which suggests his CWGC details are incorrect, as they indicate his Dad was alive after his death. Ironically, the Parish registers link him to an Alice Hawkins who goes onto marry a Herbert Rudolph Webber in 1934.

    Anyway, the Crossways, Bristol Road address now means he can have his personal and military history revealed and not just shown as details unknown

    Thanks to everyone who responded.
  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I think you're reading the CWGC details incorrectly. He is still the 'son of' whether the father is alive or dead.

  8. indypendypuss

    indypendypuss Member

    Yes I agree Tim. But it is ambiguous. Usually when one member is deceased it says "the late".

    It is clear that Ancestry have wrongly ascribed the Thornbury electoral register entries for 1927, 1928 and 1929 to him as he did not arrive in the UK until December 1927 when he was only 15. They should be ascribed to Herbert Randolph Webber (born at Bedwelty in 1903) who goes onto marry one of the fellow residents at that address i.e. Alice H Hawkins in 1934.

    Would still be nice to know when he enlisted with the Navy and if it gives any indication of his previous life as we have a big gap from his arrival in December 1927 to his death on HMS Odin on 13th June 1940.

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