Sidney Walby

Born 12th May 1896 – Died 21st September 1918

2nd & 7th Battalions Bedfordshire Regiment

Sidney Thomas Walby, the youngest son of George Walby and his first wife Elizabeth née Brown, was born on the 12th May 1896 in Cromer Hyde and baptised at St. John’s Church, Lemsford on the 17th November 1908. He was admitted to Lemsford School on the 11th June 1900 when he was 4 years old. By 1911 he had left school and was working on a farm.

Sidney enlisted at Hertford in the first week of September 1914, during the ”K2” – Kitcheners 2nd “call to arms” for 100,000 recruits and joined the Bedfordshire Regiment. He went to France with the 7th Battalion in July 1915 as Private 15023. By the time that the 7th Battalion had been amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion in May 1918 he had been promoted to Sergeant.

In addition to the Victory, British and 15 Star medals he was awarded the M.M. (Military Medal) on June 10th 1918. From The Supplement to the London Gazette, 13 September 1918, p. 10775:- “His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men:- 15023 Sjt S. Walby, Bed f. T. (Hatfield)”. The citation reads:- ' owing to sniping, movement was very difficult, but Sgt S Walby volunteered to try and get back to battalion HQ with news, and succeeded. In all, this NCO made four journeys to the rear, under fire, two of them in broad daylight, and his information proved most valuable. This was during the action of April 24th - 25t' 1918.” Sidney was killed on the 21st of September 1918 during a 12 day battle of attrition around Ronssoy Wood (northern region of the Somme) when the 2nd Battalion fought alongside the newly arrived US troops for the first time. He was one of around 300 casualties. If he had survived he would almost certainly have seen out the War and returned safely to Lemsford as this was the last battle in which the 2nd Battalion was involved. His grave ( II.E.28 ) is in the Unicorn Cemetery, Vend’huile, Aisne, France. Vend'huile is a village about 20 kilometres north of St. Quentin on the D 28. In the cemetery are 536 British, 60 Australian, 1 Canadian, 3 Indian and 409 unidentified burials of the First World War.

Attended St Johns School 11th June 1900 to July 30th 1909



Lemsford local History Group WW1 Records

Memories & Letters

Memories from the people of Lemsford Parish – letters from the Front and home and much, much more

Local Parish Magazine

From the Bishop's Hatfield Parish Magazine 1914 to 1918, Church- Social - War Records

Servicemen of Lemsford

War records from 98 men who went to war. We show their memories images and why we should never forget them.

5 Facts the Great War

The total number of deaths includes about 10 million military
The total number of deaths includes about 7 million civilians.
98 Servicemen/Women went from lemsford
78 returned back to Lemsford Parish
20 men Never came back

Battles of WW1

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