“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh.”

Anthony Webb

Greatstone resident Anthony Webb has written a number of poems about Romney Marsh, all of which are illustrated by various artists. The poems main theme is 18th century smuggling on the Marsh.

Anthony was born in Kennington near Ashford in Kent in 1926 and was educated at Ashford Grammar School. In 1943 he volunteered for the army, serving first in the Glider Pilot Regiment and in 1948 the newly formed 21st SAS and then finally in the Royal Air Force.

He left the Armed Services in 1957, after serving for fourteen years, and joined Littlewoods Pools Advertising and Press Office in London.

Anthony married Dawn in 1964 and moved to Romney Marsh in 1971, first to Littlestone and then to Greatstone in 1972, where they still live. They have two boys and two girls and eleven grandchildren.

Anthony's move to the Marsh heralded his interest in its history, particularly 18th century smuggling. He was influenced and inspired by Anne Roper's A Gift of the Sea: Romney Marsh, Smuggling in Kent and Sussex 1700-1840 by Mary Waugh and the Doctor Syn novels of Russell Thorndike.

Anthony Webb
Anthony Webb

Anthony wanted to write a book of poems about the 18th century, when smuggling was at its height, and his poem Smugglers All! portrayed the climate of those times. He has now written about twenty poems based on Romney Marsh, all rather tongue in cheek'. Nine of these poems, illustrated by Emily Goddard, Tom Pollard, John White and Liz Selby Webb, will form the basis of his book, together with the tenth, currently being illustrated by Anthony's daughter Liz, titled The Legend of Lympne Castle.

At the completion of the massive Dymchurch Wall project on the 20 April 2011, a time capsule was placed inside one of the large pillars on the sea wall. It will be opened in one hundred years time. Anthony had two of his poems, The Dymchurch Wall and The Dymchurch Bell selected by the Dymchurch & District Heritage Group to be included with the cards, letters and books and other items of interest.

You can purchase A4 size, signed and illustrated framed parchment paper prints of Anthony's poems. You can contact Anthony by Email Icon  email or Telephone Icon 01797 363761.

The Poems