Portsmouth called to join service honouring fallen D-Day hero in Milton

Major Peter Emery (retired) pictured by the bunker in Normandy that was stormed by Lance Corporal Leslie Webb on D-Day 75 years ago. L/Cpl Webb suffered mortal injuries and died eight days later back in Hampshire. He is buried in Milton where a service is being held to mark his courage. Photo: Peter Emery
Major Peter Emery (retired) pictured by the bunker in Normandy that was stormed by Lance Corporal Leslie Webb on D-Day 75 years ago. L/Cpl Webb suffered mortal injuries and died eight days later back in Hampshire. He is buried in Milton where a service is being held to mark his courage. Photo: Peter Emery
Share this article
0
Have your say

VETERANS have issued a rallying cry to the people of Portsmouth to attend a service honouring a decorated soldier mortally wounded 75 years ago.

Lance Corporal Leslie Webb died on June 14, 1944, days after being seriously injured while storming a German bunker on D-Day.

The 27-year-old, of North End, was serving with the former Royal Hampshire Regiment and was among the first men to land on Gold Beach during the invasion of Normandy.

He is one of the few D-Day casualties from Portsmouth to be buried in his home city.

And on Friday an informal service is being held at his grave to mark the anniversary of his death, attended by veteran and current soldiers.

Retired Major Peter Emery, formerly of Portchester, has organised the event after visiting the bunker where LCpl Webb was wounded in Normandy on Monday.

The 61-year-old, who served with both the Royal Hampshire Regiment and later the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (PWRR), said: ‘He was a hero on D-Day and we will never forget his courage. He was a single lad of 27 from Portsmouth who was doing his bit who paid the ultimate sacrifice.’

L/Cpl Webb served in D Company of the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment.landing on Gold Beach at 7.25am.

The regiment came under withering German fire, losing both their commanding officer and second in command within minutes of landing, losing more than 60 men in the attack.

L/Cpl Webb managed to survive the beach assault but his company found themselves pinned down by a German bunker during an attack on Le Hamel when he was wounded.

His citation read: ‘L/Cpl Webb, showing complete disregard for his personal safety, repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire in order to move his men forward.

‘In full view of the enemy he went to get orders from his platoon commander, and was seriously wounded, but his courage and bravery were such an inspiration to all that the platoon went forward again and seized its objective.’

He was evacuated back to England and died at the former Haslar hospital in Gosport eight days later.

He was posthumously awarded the Military Medal for his actions on September 25, 1944.

The remembrance service will take place at 11am.