Sidney Dobson


Private 8741, 2nd Battalion Scots Guards

Died 16th May 1915 aged 21

No Known Grave Commemorated Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Son of William Edward and Mary Jane Dobson

Lived 12, Cambridge Street, Heckmondwike

Pte Sydney Dobson

Louis Sidney/Sydney Dobson was born in 1894, one of the eight children of William Edward, a Black and Whitesmith, and Mary Jane Dobson, living in Bowness-on-Windermere. The family moved to nearby Staveley later in their childhood as their father sought employment and then became separated when at least three of the children found jobs in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire by 1911.

John, the eldest son, became a West Riding Police Constable, living in Union Road, Heckmondwike with a wife and child. Louis Sidney Dobson, by then aged 19, was living with them and employed as a bed and mattress maker at Marriott’s bedding works in Dewsbury.

His sister, Irene Gertrude Dobson, was lodging as a boarder at Francis Street, Heckmondwike on the census night of the 2nd April 1911. Two weeks later, she married Joseph Mallinson in Leeds and then they also settled in Heckmondwike.

James Hatch Dobson was three years younger than Louis Sidney Dobson and also took part in the Great War, joining the Royal Field Artillery as Driver No. 185384. He listed his sister Mrs Irene Mallinson as his next of kin and his last employer as Mr B. Child, General Manager, Back Street, Heckmondwike, where he had worked as a Horseman. He was a lucky one and survived the war, as did William Henry Dobson of 19, Carr St, who had also settled in Heckmondwike. These three brothers are named in the Heckmondwike Vellum Roll of Honour.

These siblings were to provide a contact for Sidney when he went to war, their parents living in Lancashire.

Sidney enrolled at Leeds into the Scots Guards, initially in the 1st Battalion. He went out with the British Expeditionary Force, disembarking on 13th August 1914.

An entry in the Spenborough Guardian newspaper told of his return to Heckmondwike to convalesce with his sister Mrs Irene Gertrude Mallinson at 12, Cambridge Street, having been wounded in the foot with shrapnel whilst in the trenches at Senlis. “Pte Dobson took part in the fighting at Mons and at Marne, and was amongst the brave men who crossed the Aisne on a single iron girder. He has a brother in the fighting line and another brother of his joined Kitchener’s army yesterday.”

Sidney returned to the front when his foot had healed and it was to be one of his chums, L/Corp. J. Thwain, who wrote a letter to his sister Irene. “You will no doubt be surprised to hear from me. Your brother Sydney asked me, if he got killed to write and let you know, as we were good friends. Sydney was killed two days ago in a charge. Poor Sydney, he died happy, and had a smile on his face. He was hit by a piece of shell. I saw him buried and it grieves me to write you a letter like this, but I promised him I would. He felt no pain, dying instantaneously. I am very sorry for you and the friends he left behind.”

Sidney had made out a soldiers informal will on the 7th May 1915, nine days before he was killed in action. Later it was validated and his sweetheart in Barnsley, received his few belongings.

The bereaved relatives of Pte Sidney Dobson were present at a military service held at Heckmondwike Parish church one year after the start of the Great War, held to commemorate the men whose lives had been lost.{KH-035}

Locally commemorated: on the Heckmondwike Green Park Memorial & Vellum Roll of Honour; St James’ and St Saviour’s Church Heckmondwike War Memorials.

Medals awarded: Victory, British & Star.

Staveley District History Society have given permission for the use of “their life story of Sidney Dobson”. A memorial ceremony was held in Staveley on the centenary of his death, with some of his descendants present.

Staveley District History Society website

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