A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Andrew Webster
Born: 1895 Wahgunyah. Died: 5 September 1963 Heidelberg.
Enlisted: 20 March 1915 aged 20.
Served: Egypt, Gallipoli and Western Front.
Andy was a son of William and Jessie Webster. His father was a butcher in Pakenham, where Andy attended Pakenham State School and the St James’ Sunday School. Andy followed his father and brothers into the butchery trade. He was also a member of the Pakenham Football Club and played in the 1914 district premiership winning team. In early September 1915, he was onboard the SS Southland en route to Gallipoli when the ship was torpedoed by a German u-boat (submarine) near the Greek island of Lemnos. About 40 people onboard died. A letter home from Private Bill Abrehart touched on Andy’s ordeal: “such a night: they were hanging onto boats and rafts, a lot of them were lost. Andy Webster was in it, but he was saved and is alright as far as I know”. After this misadventure, Andy served at Gallipoli until the Anzacs were evacuated. He was subsequently hospitalised with pneumonia and then transferred to France. Andy resumed his work as a butcher, and became part of the local football scene again. In 1931, he married Effie Lilian Horne.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com