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Derek Webb, 1927 -2020, President of the Ballooon Barrage Reunion Club
It is with great sadness that we must inform our members of the passing of our President, Derek Victor James Webb on 14th January 2020.
He was born in Colchester in April 1927. He married his wife Joan (Nee Napier) in April 1952 at Samford, Sussex.
Derek worked at Colchester Town Hall for many years and was extremely proud to have been Mayor’s Secretary. He was an organised person
and thrived on arranging the Mayor’s Civic Duties.
Derek served in the armed forces between 1944 and 1947. He served in the Fleet Air Arm as a trainee Pilot until May 1945 when he was remustered
to be an Air Mechanic on aero engines.
Derek was a very interesting person and had numerous interests relating to his experiences of World War Two. There were very few areas in which
he did not have knowledge of. He was full of surprises and often knew about an obscure event in WWII, in detail, facts he gleaned from reading books
and talking to people who helped add to his store of knowledge. He had an encyclopeadic knowledge of the V1, a subject we both were enthusiastic about.
He was very amusing and loved to regale stories that reflected his wicked sense of humour.
He and his late wife Joan were members of the Royal Observer Corps and he had remained a member, supporting that organisation as best he could.
Derek volunteered regularly at the Aviation Museum at Martello Tower, Point Clear Bay and was very informed about the exhibits on display.
The East Essex Aviation Society and Museum has been housed in the historic Martello Tower at Point Clear Bay, St. Osyth since it opened in the summer
of 1986. The Tower is one of the first built in 1805 to repel a Napoleonic invasion expected from France which never materialised!
At the age of 92, Derek was still actively involved in twelve Associations including being the President of the Balloon Barrage Reunion Club.
He was a member of the 17th Sea Scouts and still attended the annual dinner, chatting to the young people about their interests. Derek loved Thames
Barges and regularly took trips with Topsail Charters, sailing from Maldon sometimes to the Thames and other times remaining more locally.
Derek was an enthusiastic person, always on the go and difficult to get hold of as he was always out and about. He enjoyed walking, sailing, bird
watching and keeping in touch with his many friends.
He was quite active and fit but Derek contracted a chest infection that turned to pneumonia.
Derek was a regular attender at the Annual General Meetings of the Balloon Barrage Reunion Club, and he became President in 2016, a position
which he took over from the late Phyllis Wood in 2015.
The funeral will be held on 14th February 2020, at 11 am at Colchester Crematorium. The Funeral Directors are J. K. May, Blackwater House,
51 High Street, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8JE.
Derek will be missed by all of us and the world is a poorer place without him.
Peter Garwood Hon. Secretary BBRCLUB, 7th February 2020.
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