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Was the fair-haired Charles Richard Webb the ‘Charlie’ in the photograph?

Due to some inconvenient facts the initial theory that the occasion for the photo of the grandparents, ‘Charlie ‘and Roy was because of their enlistment in 1940 has been abandoned Thank you for that Jo.


‘Charlie’ ….. who first decided it was Charles Carl Webb as the Charlie in the family photo with Roy and the grandparents? To my recollection it was Derek Abbott. I also suspect him as being the one responsible for the tagging, something not usually done on a family photograph because everybody knows each other. I mean, why would Charlie be written in red when the other three are in blue? Why was he featured in such a manner?

There’s something not right about that.

In the previous post we proved more people thought Roy was taller than DA’s Charlie and we know they were wrong because there is a 2 plus inches difference in their respective heights, all of which means trying to judge the two mens’ comparative heights using that particular photograph is a useless exercise. But there must be more to it, the photograph that is.

Why was it taken at all?

Why were ‘Charlie’ and Roy the only two picked from the entire family to have their picture taken with Grandpa and Grandma, the Webbs were a sizeable bunch as you can see and there was plenty to choose from so why just them?

What was the occasion?


Charles Richard Webb was Charles Carl Webb’s nephew and both he and Roy Webb enlisted in 1940.

Charles Richard in August aged 22 and Roy in June aged 35.

Derek Abbott’s Somerton Man – blonde as blonde can be.

Charles Richard Webb (age unknown)

The two men photographed with Grandma and Grandpa appear to suit the ages of Roy (35) and RC Webb (22)

Both men soon to be off to war and nobody knowing if they would ever return, which was sadly the case with Roy who died in Siam in 1943 as a POW.

Back to the photo.

There has been some confusion about the tagging of the older couple in this photo as Grandpa and Grandma when some think they should have been tagged as mother and father. Well, it looks like everyone’s right. They are the grandparents of the man tagged as Charlie as he is Charles Richard, the son of their son Russell Richard and they are the parents of Roy, Russell’s brother.

The view here is that the photo was sourced from their grandson Charles’ album, not their son Charles, or as Jo suggests, grandson Norman.

Then there’s Charles Richard’s blonde hair   … and the fact that both he and Roy were 5’9” tall.

The Somerton Man on the other hand was 5’11” tall.


15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jo #

    Carl Webb was known as Charlie – I found his Swinburne school results at the PROV. Mensuration 1920 has him clearly listed as Charlie Webb, other subjects have him listed as Charles, rather than Carl.

    Personally I think the women’s fashions are pre 1940s…

    December 8, 2022
  2. Jo #

    Pete – there is something in support of your idea. Freda and Gerald Keane witnessed Roy Webb’s Will on 26 December 1940, as per Roy Webb’s NAA service file. This could possibly be that day…

    December 8, 2022
  3. Jo #

    Sorry Pete, Richard Augustus died in 1939, so the enlistment theory dies too…

    December 8, 2022
  4. That’s ok Jo, I’ve done the research, nobody in Australia named Charles was ever called Charles, blame the Poms, our blokes were all called Charlie.
    Seriously though, it is beginning to look like the Professor used a family photo from Charles Richard’s family album and not that from Charles Carl.

    December 8, 2022
    • Jo #

      I think it was Charles Richard’s brother, Norman’s album, as per “Pa” mentioned by Stuart Webb in the doco.

      December 8, 2022
      • So, not Charles Carl’s album?

        December 8, 2022
        • Jo #

          No – Russell’s son Norman.

          December 8, 2022
          • Jo #

            Ex RAAF…

            December 8, 2022
  5. Leaving us where?

    December 8, 2022
  6. Clive #

    Not sure about a family tree, more likely a family forest!

    December 8, 2022
  7. David Morgan #

    I have analysed Carl and Charles with two different sets of facial ID software both sets agree Charles = Carl when young, Charles = the clay bust, Carl = the body. They both struggle to agree that the body = the bust but that could be some technical detail – like the clay bust shrank in the heat and therefore it matched him as a younger man with a smaller face.

    I initially asked the university prof who identified the GRU agents in the Skripal case and he ID’d young Carl = blond Charles. So really there is only one small element of doubt about the body on the beach not matching the bust. But since both match either Carl or Charles and Carl = Charles then algebra says they are all the same.

    Whereas Charlie Richard matches no image.

    December 9, 2022
    • a lurker #

      the bust might be a problem because Lawson had problem with the ears (which I’d imagine is one of the factors matching software tries to resolve).

      December 13, 2022
  8. Jo #

    Keep calm and carry on; send my best to the Big Prawn!

    December 9, 2022
    • Who eats prawns when Sydney rock oysters are almost being given away, then there’s the spanner crabs and WA scampi … I should give this Somerton Man routine away and start posting recipes …

      December 9, 2022
  9. Clive #

    I’m just wondering if a more ‘enhanced’/scanned photo of the SM’s face would be of any use to i.d. him? Silly question, I realize, but is there any chance that SM is from the Keane side? No, Oh well, I thought I would ask!

    December 9, 2022

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