As the soldiers around him were ordered to remove their regimental badges Webb hurried around picking up one of each regiment. Even on the eve of Operation Overlord, he was not going to miss a chance to add to his collection.
He was with the Royal Berkshire Regiment for their landing on Juno beach. Transferred later to the 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, Webb took part in their disastrous assault crossing of the Seine. Sixty members of ‘A’ Company set off but after a night of fighting only 20 men were still alive, of whpm just four were not wounded.
Post-war, Webb became an antiques dealer, setting up his first shop in Hornsey, before moving on to Camden Passage. Attending all the auctions around London, he quickly started to build themed militaria collections devoted to the Egypt and Sudan Medal, medals to the Middlesex and Essex regiments, and medals to the City of London Imperial Volunteers.
He wrote several books including The Abu Klea Rolls and Recipients of Bars to the Military Cross, as well as co-authoring a history of the Royal Flying Corps.
Webb’s medals and militaria collection are now coming up for auction at Dix Noonan Webb on August 20, comprising around 900 lots. Two sale highlights are pictured here.