In Memory of Sidney John


384 Rifleman SJ Conduit, London Rifle Brigade  15th May 1915 Age 19

Every family has  a story to tell and with events to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice ending World War 1, (“The War to End all Wars”) taking place today, it’s been so important to listen and learn from their bravery. Whether or not you agree with the motives  and politics of those in power who initiated and encouraged such wholesale and wasteful loss of life.

I knew little about Great Uncle Sid, other than seeing his name on a Commemorative Scroll and  faded photo in the hallway at our Grandmother’s house. Though I, my brothers and cousins did meet his brother, Trevor. He was quite a character; regularly shocking poor Granny, his sister,  with lurid accounts of his goings-ons as a young man. I get the impression from my brothers that I was spared the more colourful episodes!

Sidney died at Ypres, aged only 19 and was buried at Bailleul Cemetery, in France. Four years ago, DH and friends did a tour of the battlefields and afterwards visited his grave, leaving behind the makeshift memorial you can see at the foot of the headstone. It was a last minute decision but which seemed fitting; a way somehow of reaching back across the century and acknowledging a life which had barely started before being so cruelly ended, yet which had formed part of our family history.




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