The photographs above are of the few items of memorabilia associated with my father, Frederick Webb. The shell has been in the family for some time, but we are unsure of its provenance other than that it is from the First World War.
My father was awarded two medals for his service in the Great War. The British War Medal was given to all who served between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. In addition he received the Victory Medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal, which was awarded to all who received the British War Medal.
From a family in rural Northamptonshire my Dad joined the Royal Navy on 20th August 1916, his sixteenth birthday, as a Boy Sailor. He first saw active service in March 1917 when he was posted to HMS Moldavia, an armed merchant cruiser. In May 1918 this ship, with a full crew and about 450 American soldiers on board, was torpedoed in the English Channel. Miraculously the crew, including my father, and most of the soldiers were safely evacuated.
In spite of this experience Dad decided to become a regular sailor and so on 20th August 1918 he began a 12 year engagement. In August 1930, at the formal end of his service, Dad was a member of the crew of HMS Kent sailing off Hong Kong. He finally returned to this country in 1931 and was discharged in June 1931.