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