Rank: Sapper
Number: 65346
Unit: 105th Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 5 June 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: Westhof Farm Cemetery, Heuvelland, Belgium

Little is known about Sidney. His parents were Samuel and Mary and they lived at 18 Victoria Avenue, Bredbury. Sidney had been born in nearby Haughton Green.

He enlisted into the army in Manchester and his service number suggests this was relatively early in the War, probably joining around February 1915. Army records published after the War indicate that Sidney "died of wounds" he'd received. This is a term used to indicate that he was not killed outright. As such, it's not possible to be certain when he received his fatal injuries. However, he is buried in a Cemetery used by the Field Ambulance at the time. During the War, the Ambulance was much more than a mobile emergency serbice or transport. It was an integral part of the battlefield medical service with doctors staffing main dressing stations a little way behind the front lines. His burial here suggest he had been wounded only shortly before - probably not more than 24 hours.

The beginning of June 1917 was an active time for the British Army in Belgium, preparing as it was for the forthcoming Battle of Messines. However, Sidney and his mates were not spending much time anywhere near the front line. They were in the back areas undertaking training, including in the excavation of deep dugouts. Even so, they would be in range of the German artillery and, although probably not specific targets, the Company would have 9 fatalities during the month and another 19, including Sidney, were wounded.

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