Webb Paul Frederick

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1950

I was born in 1950 at Farnborough Hospital, Kent, England. My father, Cyril George Webb, worked in an administrative capacity for the Sidcup, Council, Kent. My mother was Gladys Lambert who was born in Birkenhead, Lancashire. As my mother was illegitimate, due to the story that her mother was taken advantage of by the local squire at whose property she worked as a maid, we do not have a history for her side of the family. We did try to research but apparently those naughty German bombers blew the records up during WW2. My father was one of, I believe, 11 children but all his siblings seemed to have moved around the world e.g. USA, Canada, South Africa and he rarely spoke of them. My parents had six children that survived, with three that did not. Siblings included brothers Michael (Mick) Alastair, Cyril James (Jim), Raymond (Ray) Peter (deceased), Peter Franklin and sister Joy.

My brother Ray did undertake some research into our family history but sadly, when he passed away, those records simply disappeared, including photos etc. My brother Peter has also undertaken some research.

We migrated from England in 1961 (except for brother Michael who remained behind, but later also emigrated to join the family) and travelled as 10 pound migrants aboard the SS? Strathaird, arriving at Outer Harbour. From there we were bused to Finsbury Hostel. Nissan huts and 40 degree temperatures were not a good start, allowing there was also something of a min-depression on and work was extremely hard to find for my father and brothers. Eventually they found work, with Holdens at Elizabeth assisting in providing some jobs. After ~12 months we were able to rent a farm house by the Little Para River, raise some chickens, and have a pretty good life. In those days you could walk across the paddocks all the way to Pt Adelaide. My highlights were the wild-life, occasional glimpses of strange men trying to capture parrots to then sell them at various markets, as well as a real swagman who would undertake odd jobs for mum in exchange for some tucker. He would refuse mum’s offer of accommodation in one of the out-buildings and go down to the river and camp, and you could see his fire burning at night.

We only stayed there for a short period, before moving to Elizabeth North (is it a fallacy that all Poms moved to Elizabeth area from the various hostels?), but it was a great time at the farm and, after this, every time I went along the Port Wakefield Road, I would glance across and reminisce but sadly, like most things, the house and out-buildings have now been demolished. Staying there must have also held great memories for my brother Ray as, when he passed away, in his will he asked that his ashes be scattered in two places: Uluru (where he had previously worked) and by the Little Para River (where he had once lived). Must be something about the Webb’s and ashes, as my mum’s ashes were scattered in Dead Man’s Pass reserve, Gawler, while my dad’s ashes were post-packed back to the UK to be interred with his parents in the Sidcup cemetery!

I attended Salisbury Primary School and Salisbury High School but left at the beginning of 4th Year. Had a wee break on the “dole” but then applied for the Australian Public Service and was successful. Started work at the then Department of Works, Grenfell Building, Da Costa Arcade, Adelaide. Around a year later (1969) transferred to the then Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) and worked there until I retired in 2005. Prior to retirement, studied at TAFE and gained qualifications in security and as an aged carer. However, the lure of the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (formerly WRE) was too great and I commenced back as a contractor within a few months of retirement and am still there (2012).

Being a confirmed bachelor up I was pleasantly surprised when I asked Anne Elizabeth Field to marry me, and more surprised when she said yes. We purchased our first home at 64 Adelaide Road in Gawler in 1988 and were married in the back yard in November 1989. We picked up dad from the nursing home and mum came along with my brother Jim, as she was living with him. Some confusion with dad as he thought he was there to play cards! Mum complemented this by having an asthma attack.

We moved to our present home at 3 First Street, Gawler in August 1990 and we enjoy immensely the house, despite it being b…y freezing in winter, and our lovely cottage garden. I also joined the Gawler Lions Club, so I am now a respectable member of the community!

I have now resided in Gawler for a period of 23 years and it is great. My wife and I have seen many changes but it still has that great town and country feel about it.

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