On February 18th one of our newest members, Marianne Mann was the guest speaker at our monthly meeting in the Constance Barnicoat Roof of the Tasman District Library.
She spoke about her descendants, the Webby family, and specifically her grandfather, Stanley Roy Webby who farmed in Hope and then 88 Valley. His father and mother, Edward and Mary Webby were early settlers in the area, arriving from Somerset in 1841 on the Whitby and Lloyds respectively.
Stanley was the only member of his family to see action in World War I. He fought at the battle of Messines in 1917, was wounded early on in the neck and invalided back to England. For the rest of his life he suffered bad headaches and bouts of depression from which he never really recovered. Marianne is now the proud owner of the sweetheart badge he left with loved ones at home.
We really appreciated Marianne’s talk because although it was her family’s story it was also the story of so many early settler families. Even the variants of the Webby name: Whibby – Whebby – Whebbey – Whibbey – Webby caused through oral rather than written transcription because of the owner’s lack of literacy was the experience of many settlers particularly those from Europe.
The visual representations of the prolific Webby families was also a great help in understanding where people fitted in.
We look forward to a visit in April to Edward Webby’s 88 Valley home, built in 1858. It is now the only remaining house of that era in the area. (N.B. This is a members only outing but we will accept new members on the day.)