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Photo of Edwin Thomas Webb

Edwin Thomas Webb

Analytical Chemist
Birthplace Wirral Birkenhead EnglandPlace of Residence at HM Factory Gretna 100-102 Vancouver Road Place of Death Norfolk Trimingham Date of Birth: September 29, 1893 Date of Death: November 11, 1969

Biography

Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Edwin Thomas Webb
Gender: Male
Date and place of birth: 29th September 1893 Birkenhead
Date and Place of Death: 11th November 1969, Trimingham, Norfolk
Nationality: English
Childhood: One of 5 sons, 3 survived
Parents: Thomas Webb and Maria Louisa nee Thomas
Parents occupations: Blacksmith to a shipping and engineering company
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:  Not known
Occupation: Chemical engineer. Analytical chemist
Place of residence at Gretna: 100-102 Vancouver Rd, Eastriggs
Marital status: Married
Children: Three , Richard, unknown and Roger
Travels: None known
Awards/recognitions: None known
Positions held: None known
Trivia / any other information:  yes
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Biography 

Edwin Thomas Webb 1893-1968 

Edwin Thomas Webb was born on 29th September 1893 at Birkenhead to Thomas , a blacksmith and Maria Louisa nee Thomas. He was the second of 5 sons born between 1890 and 1900. 

Thomas was the son of a bricksetter, born in Leicestershire in 1866, Maria Louisa Thomas the daughter of a Welsh stone mason born and baptised in Swansea. Thomas was the eldest of at least 6 children and Maria one of at least 8. The couple married in the third quarter of 1897 , registered in the Cardiff district. At some point between 1897 and 1900 they moved to Birkenhead which is where Frederick William, their first child was born in 1890. 

The 1891 census gives an address of 13 Eastham Street, Birkenhead. Thomas and Maria are both 24 and Frederick is 1. Frederick died aged 2 in 1892. The second son , Edwin Thomas arrived in September 1893 followed by Harold in 1895, James who was born and died in 1897 and George Arthur in 1900.  

By the time of the 1901 census the Webb family have moved to 88 Craven Street, Birkenhead. Edwin, the eldest of the boys is 7. Thomas and Maria are now 34 and Thomas is still working as a Blacksmith. 

The 1911 census tells us that they have moved yet again, this time to 6 Willmer Road, Birkenhead, a 6 room dwelling.  Thomas and Maria have been married for 22 years, are both 44. They have had 5 children, 2 of whom have died. We now learn that Thomas is a blacksmith for a shipping and engineering smith. Edwin at 17 is an apprentice analytical chemist, Harold at 16 is a junior clerk for a shipping and forwarding agent. George Arthur at 11 is at school.  

Linking to previous research of a chemist from Birkenhead, it is probably safe to say that Edwin was an apprentice at Port Sunlight, the soap factory founded by Lord Lever, now Unilever.  

In 1917, it is likely that Edwin responded to a Government call to chemists to join the army to be drafted to work for the Ministry of Munitions. We know that they were offered immediate promotion to lieutenant, the usual levels of fitness and eyesight were waivered and they were  well paid.  

Edwin’s name appears in the Dornock Farwell of 1919, with a forwarding address of 50, Milton Road, Tranmere Park, Birkenhead. He also appears in the electoral register of 1918-19 with an address of 100-102 Vancouver Road, Eastriggs, chemist.  

The next evidence of Edwin is his marriage on 6th June 1921 at Manchester Cathedral to Alice Maude Heyworth. They are both 28, Edwin a chemical engineer with an address of The Mitre Hotel in the Cathedral precinct and Alice the daughter of a commercial traveller of “ Alival”, Roseneath Road, Urmston, Manchester. Edwin appears to have possibly given an address of a hotel rather than his permanent residence so it is difficult to deduce where he may have been working at the time. It is also possible that Alice worked at H M Factory Gretna during the war. What is unclear is why the marriage took place at the cathedral when Alice lived in one of the suburbs.  

Alice  was born on 12th February 1893, the  eldest of at least 5 daughters in the 1901 census.  In 1911 Alice is a student, her sisters are scholars and her father is a sales person of cotton piece goods. All their offspring have survived.  

In April 1924 Alice and Edwin had their first child, a son, Richard Thomas Heyworth Webb born in Chorlton, Manchester. A second child was born between 1924 and 1932 but the line on the 1939 register is blanked out and evidence is difficult to trace. Their third child Roger was born on 25th August 1932, registered in Hendon, Middlesex.  

1932 was also the year when youngest brother George Arthur died aged 32 at 83, Grange Rd West, Birkenhead leaving effects of £1366 1s 8d to his widow Doris Winifred. 

The 1939 register places Alice, Edwin and their children at “ Torwoodlee”, Royston Grove, Harrow, Middlesex. Edwin now 46 is occupied as a chemical engineer. Son Roger is at school. The other two children are blanked out. Edwin affords to employ a ‘paid domestic’.  

Thomas and Maria stayed in Birkenhead, living at 1 Lyndhurst Rd in 1939. Thomas now a “Blacksmith retired”. 

Edwin’s father, Thomas , died on 26th July 1946 at 56 Church Road, Birkenhead although probate indicates that his usual address is 83, Grange Road , Birkenhead. He left effects of £684 2s 2d to his widow Maria Louisa Webb.  

Edwin’s son Richard married in 1952 in Harrow. His mother died in the second quarter of at the age of  86 at 83 Grange Road West, Birkenhead.  Probate is to Edwin Thomas Webb, Company Director £959 12 7d . 

We know from a ship’s passenger list for 1959 that  youngest son Roger gave Edwin and Alice a grand daughter, Fiona Vivienne  in 1958. They are listed on an incoming sailing from Cape Town to Southampton in August 1959. Roger is an accountant and the address given is The White House , Gimingham,( Trimingham) Norfolk. 

This is where Alice died on 1st September 1962 aged 79. Probate is to Edwin Thomas Webb, retired chemical engineer effects of £9833 17s. She is buried in Norfolk.  

Edwin lived survived Alice by 7 years , he died on 11th November 1969 at The White House, Trimingham, Norfolk ( now a holiday cottage – Google maps). He was 75 and left effects of £16317.  

Sons Richard and Robert died in 2001 and 2004 respectively.  

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