January 29, 1919 - October 16, 2017
WEBBER, Michael Henry Fairfax Webber, C.D.
BGen (Retired) – RC Sigs
Michael Webber died peacefully at home in Ottawa, on Monday, October 16, 2017 in the company of family.
Michael was born in Kings Lynn, England, January 29.1919, the only child of Harold Fairfax and Edith (nee Proctor) Webber.
As an infant, he emigrated with his mother to Ottawa, rejoining his father who had preceded them as a returning World War I veteran. As the child of a career army officer he lived in Kingston, Toronto, Camp Borden and finally back to Ottawa.
In 1937 Michael entered a four-year course of study at Royal Military College of Canada, cadet #2612, with the aim of pursuing a military career. In 1939 his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He accepted a commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. In April 1940, he married Margaret Frances Marr and four short months later was shipped overseas. It would be nearly five years before he would return to his wife and meet his young son, Michael. Early in the war he endured the London air raids and was the first to land in the vital 1941 Spitsbergen raid. On July 10, 1943 Capitan Webber waded ashore with much of the Canadian Army in Sicily for the beginning of the arduous Italian campaign. As the war progressed he transferred with the rest of the Canadian Army to N.W. Europe. V-E day found Major Michael Webber in Hilversum Holland.
Post-war Michael completed his electrical engineering degree at Queens University and was posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. In 1952, promoted Lt. Colonel, and became the first Commanding Officer of the First Canadian Signals Regiment (1CSR) based at what was then Camp Borden, near Barrie Ont.
During his distinguished career, he served in several roles at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, attended the Canadian Army Staff College, the US War College and the Canadian Defence College. He served in 1957-1958 in Indochina with the International Control Commission, in 1960-1964 in Washington D.C. as Canada’s Military liaison to the Pentagon, in 1970-1972 as Honourary Aide-de-Camp to Governor General D. Roland Michener CC, CMM, CD., represented Canada at NATO’s military communications committee in Paris. Promoted Brigadier General in 1971 he served at NATO Headquarters in Brussels until his retirement in May 1974.
Post-retirement Michael worked ten years for the Law Reform Commission of Canada, and served in 1987-89 as Colonel Commandant of the Communications and Electronics Branch.
Michael is predeceased by his wife of 50 years and the mother of his children, Margaret (nee Marr), and his son Michael Fairfax Marr Webber, as well as his second wife, Louise Gray (nee MacBrien)
He is survived by his children, Christopher, Peter and Jennifer, and his wife Louise’s children Michael, Brien, Bruce and Diana and their families. Also left to treasure his memory are his grandchildren, Michael and Christina Webber, Andrew (Francine) Altman, Matthew (Stacy) Altman, step-grandchildren, Lynnette and Gregory White, and great granddaughter Elsie Fairfax Altman.
Visitation will be at the Hall of Colors of the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood Ave. Ottawa on Saturday October 21 after 12 noon. Funeral Service will be held in the Sacred Space at 2 p.m. followed by interment with military honours and reception.
For those preferring to make a charitable memorial donation in lieu of flowers, please consider making one to the RMC Foundation Truth, Duty, Valour Fund in memory of BGen (Ret’d) Webber either online at www.rmcfoundation.ca, via phone at 613-541-6000 ext. 6807, or to PO Box 17000 STN Forces, Kingston ON K7K 7B4. All memorial donations will be noted in the Book of Remembrance in Currie Hall at RMC in Kingston.