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26th Jun, 2022

One from Australia, one from town, but both sons of Redditch

Ross Crawford 23rd Sep, 2018

TWO more sons of Redditch were laid to rest in France 100 years ago this week, killed during the First World War.

Sidney Palmer served with the 2nd Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), a unit which raised 76 battalions during the war and lost some 15,000 men killed between 1914 and 1918.

By September 1918 the Allies were steadily pressing the enemy back to the Hindenburg Line.

Sidney had been born in 1899, one of the seven children of Jesse and Mary Palmer of 201 Mount Pleasant.

Jesse was a shoemaker and while still a teenager, Sidney married his sweetheart, Mary Palmer, the couple setting up home at 139 Other Road.

New recruits to the Army were sent to where the need was greatest, which was how Sidney ended up in a London Regiment, and he soon found himself in the thick of it.

He was initially reported as missing in action but was then recorded as dying of his wounds on September 18, 1918.

He lies buried in the British Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, in Epehy, France and is remembered today on the St Stephens War Memorial and the Redditch War Memorial.

The body of another Redditch man, Corporal Thomas Quinney, was laid to rest just a few miles south of where Sydney now lies.

The son of Ernest and Clara Quinney, before the war Thomas had left these shores to start a new life in Australia.

However when war broke out and he quickly answered the cry, enlisting in the Australian Imperial Forces in 1914, giving his place of birth as ‘Hedleys Cross’ and his occupation as a farm labourer.

He saw action both in France and in the bloodbath of Gallipoli in 1915, before succumbing to ill health in the inhospitable conditions.

Suffering from dysentry he was transferred out to Alexandria and then back to Britain.

Promoted to Corporal he returned to Alexandria where he joined the Australian Provost Corp, a form of military police whose recruits had to be of good physique and appearance; be medically Class A; be of a minimum height of 5 foot 9 inches; have at least six months front line service with a combatant unit; be able to ride a horse and have a clean military conduct record.

His unit sailed for France in January 1918 where he was killed in action on September 18, 1918 aged 31.

He lies buried in the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension in France and is remembered today on the War Memorial at The Bridge Church – St Lukes – and also appears in the Worcester/Worcestershire Roll of Honour Book in Worcester Cathedral.

With thanks to:

Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes

Research by Jillian Coombes.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/

http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/

http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/

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