Brian had a love of the army, chil­dren and ham ra­dio

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

BRIAN Webb was a man who was pas­sion­ate about his Aus­tralian Army ca­reer, am­a­teur ra­dio con­nec­tions, the com­mu­nity, chil­dren and the RSL.

He was born in Burnie, Tas­ma­nia to Keith and Freda Webb in 1933 but at just 12 months of age moved to Mel­bourne in 1934 and then in 1938 to Syd­ney and then Wol­lon­gong.

His par­ents con­ducted a push­bike and mo­tor­cy­cle busi­ness which they even­tu­ally sold and moved to Huskisson on Jervis Bay.

Hence Brian’s love of cy­cling and then mo­tor­bikes be­gan and he started his ca­reer as a bike me­chanic.

In 1952 he was called up by the Aus­tralian Army for Na­tional Ser­vice and af­ter com­plet­ing ini­tial train­ing trans­ferred to the Reg­u­lar Army and marched into 1st Armoured Reg­i­ment later that year.

This was the be­gin­ning of a 30 year ca­reer for Brian – a tank soldier who joined the Reg­i­ment in its for­ma­tive years.

Ini­tially he marched into Churchill Troop (B Squadron) but af­ter 12 months grad­u­ated to Cen­tu­rion, and even­tu­ally tasted suc­cess as a mem­ber of 3 Troop.

Brian soon be­came known as ‘Spi­der’ or Webby and en­joyed a typ­i­cal ca­reer for an armoured corps soldier – with one high­light be­ing an eight month de­ploy­ment in South Viet­nam.

In 1962 he had mar­ried Su­san Rams­dale and they had one son Kitridge – who both un­for­tu­nately pre-de­ceased Brian.

Apart from his army du­ties, Brian be­came in­volved in the scout­ing move­ment in the Seymour dis­trict and then af­ter re­tire­ment he tin­kered ex­ten­sively with am­a­teur (ham) ra­dio be­ing a mem­ber of sev­eral am­a­teur ham ra­dio as­so­ci­a­tions across the re­gion.

His love of ra­dio and mu­sic saw him drive around Seymour in an old Com­mer van which sported a large, fold­ing ra­dio mast an­tenna on its roof.

And af­ter re­tire­ment from the Army and mov­ing to Bon­nie Doon, Brian worked for the Mans­field Shire as a con­tracted garbage col­lec­tor.

His truck was well known as he had a speaker on its roof and played mu­sic as he emp­tied bins.

His other pas­sion was the restora­tion of the Bon­nie Doon War Me­mo­rial where he worked tire­lessly with Bill Ro­mans to re­store the me­mo­rial it­self and saw the in­stal­la­tion and up­keep of the cannon.

The gar­dens sur­round­ing the mon­u­ment were re­planted with rose bushes he had res­cued from the for­mer school grounds – now the com­mu­nity cen­tre.

A story told of Brian that his love of chil­dren saw many young­sters of Doon given a treat when he was banned from fir­ing the cannon, so cre­at­ing his own bazooka, gath­ered the chil­dren at the recre­ation re­serve and fired his home made ‘cannon’ shoot­ing lol­lies across the field for chil­dren to scram­ble af­ter.

He ‘adopted’ many neigh­bour­hood chil­dren and be­friended their fam­i­lies.

Fol­low­ing a ser­vice at McCor­mack’s Fu­ner­als, Mans­field, Brian Webb was cre­mated and his ashes will be scat­tered in Bon­nie Doon at a date to be set.

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