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Walberswick: Village stalwart celebrated for ‘ceaseless’ work in community

PUBLISHED: 10:05 13 March 2014

David Webb (right) and his brother, Wally, in Walberswick

David Webb (right) and his brother, Wally, in Walberswick

A former navy commander who championed numerous causes is his community has died.

David Webb was born and raised in Walberswick in the 1940s and became a hydrographer in the Royal Navy.

The fourth generation of his family to live in the village, Mr Webb returned after commanding five surveying ships and working for the Environment Agency on the Medway.

Following retirement, he joined Walberswick parish council and served as chairman. He resigned from the role in 2012 but rejoined as a councillor later that year.

Mr Webb organised the British Open Crabbing Championship with his brother Keith ‘Wally’ Webb, who died in July 2012. The competition ran each year from 1981 to 2010, raising tens of thousands for charities including the old Blythburgh Hospital and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ Treehouse Appeal.

He was a trustee of Walberswick Common Lands Charity and member of the Walberswick Sea Defence Group, the Southwold Harbour Lands Trust and the Blyth Estuary Group.

Robin Buncombe, who knew Mr Webb since childhood and served with him on the parish council, said he was devastated by news of his death yesterday. He added: “He was very much community-minded and widely respected for his dedication. He believed fervently in the protection of Walberswick. At times, his beliefs proved divisive, but his commitment to the community and his friendship will be sorely missed.”

Friend and local resident Luke Jeans said: “He was a stalwart of the village. If things needed doing, you would find him doing them. He cared so deeply about this community. His older brother, Wally, was the same.”

District councillor Michael Gower joined the parish council as an emergency appointment in 2012 following the mass resignation of members, including Mr Webb, in the midst a drawn-out clash with a number of residents over the nature of communications information requests.

Mr Gower said: “David Webb worked ceaselessly for the village over many years.

“Although we weren’t close friends, I knew him by repute. He put in a huge amount for Walberswick.”

Mr Webb is survived by a brother and sister and three children.

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