Sydney Herbert Horton was the fourth child of Richard Horton & Martha Elizabeth Stone born October 27th, 1885 at West Bromwich.
By 1891 Sydney was living at 232-234 High St, West Bromwich where his father was a grocer. Sydney had 4 brothers & a sister. Sydney attended Christ Church School, West Bromwich.
In 1896 Sydney & his brothers Alfred & Oscar started at Christ Church School, West Bromwich. Previously all 3 ha attended St Martin's Church of England school, Tipton. Sydney left Christ Church school in November 1898.
In 1901 the family were living at 37 New St, West Bromwich & Sydney was working as a junior clerk. There were 3 brothers & a sister still at home.
Sydney was still living at home in 1911 with his parents at 15 Oxford Rd, West Bromwich. His occupation was given as manager in a glass warehouse.
Soon after the 1911 census Sydney joined the Staffordshire Yeomanry & went to Australia at the age of 28.
Sydney's involvement in WW1 is chronicled on the website of the National Archives of Australia, some of which follows. Sydney applied for active service in the Australian Imperial Force in March 1916 & enlisted on April 3rd, 1916. His postal address at that time was given as Boronia, Francis St, Artarmon (north west Sydney). In his application he was described as a commercial traveller & stated that he had been in the Staffordshire Yeomanry for 3 years & 6 months. His physical description was given as height 5ft 6¾ins with blue eyes & brown hair. Sydney, a member of the 35th Battalion of the Australian Infantry, embarked from Sydney, NSW on board HMAT ‘Port Sydney' on September 4th, 1916 & arrived in Plymouth on October 29th, 1916.
Sydney married Rose Anna Wakeman on December 25th, 1916 at the Parish Church of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. Witnesses at the wedding were Henry Wakeman (Rose’s uncle), Janet Wakeman (Rose’s sister), Martha Elizabeth & Richard Horton (Sydney’s parents). Rose was born November 25th, 1888 at Wribbenhall (now part of Bewdley), Worcs. Rose’s father, John Wakeman, was a market gardener & the family lived at Spring Grove Farm, Kidderminster, now a safari park!
Sydney's marriage certificate
Sydney's army records show that he was severely reprimanded for being absent without leave from midnight on December 25th until 7pm on December 27th . His penalty for some extra time with his new bride was to forfeit 1 days pay! Sydney was again reprimanded for being late on parade at 8.30am in January 1917!
In February 1917 he was posted to France, & returned to England in July 1917. He returned to action in France in December 1917. In the spring of 1918 the 35 th Battalion were deployed in the defence of the approaches to Amiens. Sydney was appointed Lance Sergeant on April 12th, 1918. Just six days later he received a fatal shell wound to the abdomen, & died at the Casualty Clearing Station, Picquigny on April 19th, 1918, aged 32. He was buried at the British Military Cemetery at Picquigny, Amiens, France. Sydney was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal.
Sydney's grave in Picquigny cemetery
Sydney wrote a will in which he gave his address as Illala, Belmont Rd, Mosman, Sydney, Australia. Probate was granted to his widow Rose Anna on August 2nd, 1918. His effects amounted to £239.
The 1939 register shows widowed Rose living with her widowed mother, Ellen Wakeman, at Bransley Villa, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. Rose was described as a smallholder.
Rose lived at Bransley Villa, Cleobury Mortimer until she died. Brother-in-law Oscar kept in contact with Rose & used to visit her there.
Rose died on June 28th, 1950, at Bransley Villa, the cause of death being stomach cancer. Probate was granted in London on September 19th, 1950 to Sarah Ellen Halford (wife of Albert Edward Halford) and to Rose's sister, Janet May Wood (wife of James Bernard Wood). Her effects were £1592.10s.4d.