Webb, John Addems
Exeter, Devon 1889
John Webb, a local amateur, played for Exeter City's reserves in Plymouth and District League in 1913/14 having previously played for other teams in the city including Friernhay. Moving to work in Nortingham shortly before the outbreak of the Great War, he enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) and was killed near Yrpes in 1915 aged twenty-six. Although he did not play for the first team, he is recorded in this section of the archive in common with all thirteen Exeter City players who lost their lives in events related to the war of 1914-18.
A member of the Providence United Methodist Church in Northernhay Street, Exeter, he was a centre-half who had played in local football for Friernhay one of the strongest sides in the city. Switching to play for City's reserves in 1913, at time when the club's first team was in the Southern League, John found himself in a team that was to finish third in the Plymouth and District League under the captaincy of George White who was to die on the Western Front in October 1914. Also in the team were Edwin Clark, Fred Hunt and Billy Stoneman, each of whom was to die in the conflict that followed. Fred Bailey, playing for Babbacombe but undoubtedly known to John in Exeter footballing circles, would be another victim of war.Upon his death the Express and Echo described John as a "robust centre-half" who "created such a fine impression for he was strong, bustling, and in the pink of condition. He was regarded, in fact, as one of the 'finds' of the season".At some stage in 1914 his work as a lithographic artist had taken him to Nottingham and, in October 1914, he enlisted with the Robin Hoods, the territorial battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. Arriving in France in February 1915 he was killed during the battle for Hill 60, part of the Second Battle of Ypres, on 18 April 1915. He was the second Exeter City player to die in the Great War after George White.
For more information about John Webb’s war service and death see his entry in the Killed in Action section of the Archive