ONE hundred years ago this week Redditch soldiers were still dying at the front and in captivity in the Great War.
Sidney Allbutt was born in 1900, one of five children of Ernest Noah Allbutt who is listed as a widower in the 1911 census.
His mother’s name is unknown and it’s presumed she died sometime before the census.
The family lived at 4 Beaufort Street, just off Mount Pleasant, and his father was a warehouseman for a fish hook maker.
By the time he was 11 young Sidney was attending school and working as a newsboy.
He enlisted at Stourbridge and served with the 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, part of 41st Division, and was killed in action on September 4, 1918 as the Allies advanced through Flanders.
He lies buried at Voormezeele, south east of Ypres and is remembered today on the St Stephens War Memorial and on the Redditch War Memorial.
Three days after Sidney’s death another Redditch soldier died, but in totally different circumstances.
Clifford Day had been a Private with the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, a unit which felt the full force of the German attack on the Chemin Des Dames on May 27, 1918.
More than 4,000 artillery pieces opened fire along the front followed by a gas attack.
The 150th Brigade, which included the 4th lost 621 men, of who 566 were reported missing, either blown to smithereens or captured.
Clifford was taken prisoner but died in captivity on September 7, 1918. He was 19 years old.
He had been born in 1899 in Headless Cross. It’s not known who his parents were but in the 1901 census he was living with the Tate family as their adopted son.
By 1911 he was with his aunt and uncle, Alice and William Powell, living at 90 Birchfield Road in Redditch.
He is buried in the Berlin South-Western Cemetery in Germany and is remembered today on the War Memorial at The Bridge Church – St Luke’s – and in the Worcestershire Roll of Honour Book in Worcester Cathedral.