Mr Webb was the star of our first ‘Stories from the Inside’ for this year, a lunchtime session where one of our staff members talks to the boys about something interesting or unusual in their past or current life outside of school.
Mr Webb spoke about his grandfather, a member of the 1st Commando Company holding off the Japanese invasion above New Guinea during WWII. After his grandfather was shipwrecked off Kavieng, he went missing for 8 months, for much of that time lost in the New Guinea jungle.
His unit was the precursor of the Z Special Force, an elite company of commandos who were involved in Operation Jaywick on the MV Krait. In this covert and highly dangerous mission, six of the Australian commandos rowed into Singapore harbour in canoes at night-time, and attached mines to the hulls of Japanese ships. The first time they did this, disguised as Japanese fishermen, they got away with it, but the second time they were not so lucky and all of them died.
About 60 boys listened to Mr Webb, and were sobered by the realisation of how many men put their lives on the line to protect Australia and our way of life. Sebastian, one of our Year 8 students, reflected on Mr Webb’s talk: “Last Friday Mr Webb gave an intriguing and insightful look into the tragic story of his Grandfather’s role in WWII. Everyone was captivated by his presentation, and all of us learned more about the role of Australian soldiers during the war. Mr Webb gave the boys a new perspective on war and how tragic it really was.”