The AIF Project

Charles Frederick SYDES

Regimental number3476
Place of birthGreat Waltham, Essex, England
SchoolKing Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, England; St Mark's College, Chelsea, London, England.
Other trainingHeadmaster
Age on arrival in Australia27-28
ReligionChurch of England
AddressNyah, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 10.5"
Weight172 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs J R Sydes, Great Beddon, Chelmsford, England
Previous military serviceServed as Sergeant for 4 years in St Mark's College Bn, Middlesex Regiment, Territorial Force.
Enlistment date17 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll59th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingArmentieres, France
Age at death31
Age at death from cemetery records31
Place of burialRue-Petillon Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row D, Grave No. 17), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John Robert and Catherine SYDES, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 59th Bn, Te el Kebir, 26 February 1916, and reverted to the ranks.

Promoted Sergeant, Ferry Post, 4 March 1916; appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major, 4 March 1916.

Promoted Company Sergeant Major with rank of Warrant Officer Class II, Duntron Plateau, 19 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 29 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Presume Buried In No Man's Land approx 5J90 43 to 5K02.5.1 Sheet Hazebrouck 5A'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2680701, 3022 Signaller C.F.L. CALLANAN, 59th Bn, 17 December 1916: 'I know he was not brought in[.] A S.B. saw him out in "No Man's Land". He was a great man with he boys, a great comic singer. We all volunteered on this occasion to go out as Stretcher Bearers at 10 o'clock in the daytime at broad daylight, and Fritz was on his parapet pointing out the bodies for us, but our own artillery spoilt this by opening fire.'

Second statement, 2695 Pte H.N. McDONALD, D company, 59th Bn (patient, 51st General Hospital, Etaples), 27 April 1917: 'I was speaking to Cpl. Whitelaw, XV pl. D. Coy. 59th battn. He told me he saw Sydes lying out in No Man's Land on July 19th with a bullet through the lungs. He said Sydes was in a terrible way and implored him (Whitelaw) to shoot him. Whitelaw was badly wounded himself and could do nothing to help Sydes. This is the last known of Sydes.'

Third statement, 3271 Pte C.H. CHESHIRE, 59th Bn (patient, 18th General Hospital, Etaples), 23 May 1917: 'Sgt. Moran of the 59th Pioneers (sic) buried him in a cemetery in V.C. Avenue, Fromelles. I have seen his grave with a beautiful cross over it.' Followup statement by CHESHIRE, 12 June 1917: 'When they were enquiring in France, I gave the report to Searcher that this man Sydes was buried, almost directly after I thought the information was incorrect, as I was thinking of another man. Would you please cross the report off if it has reached headquarters.'

Fourth statement, 2590 Sergeant W.J.V. JUDD, 5th Pioneer Bn (late 59th Bn), 30 July 1917: 'This man was crossing No Man's Land in the attack at Fleurbaix on July 19th 1916. He was wounded by enemy fire, but though urged by me to go to the rear for treatment he kept on till almost exhausted. After that he was persuaded to accept asitance, but as he was returning in a wounded condition he was blown to pieces by a shell and completely buried.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, SYDES Charles Frederick
Red Cross File No 2680701

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