PLEDGER, Sydney


No record in Commonwealth War Graves Commission of the death of a Sidney Pledger

However the younger brother of Jesse Pledger emigrated to New Zealand under what was an early assisted passage scheme.
He was in the second batch of some 50 young men selected in the United Kingdom to go to New Zealand for farm work. They were to be given board, lodging and clothing by the farmer and for the 1st year paid a minimum of 7 shillings and 6 pence per week ( 38p), 12 shillings and 6 pence (63p) the second year and 17 shillings and 6 pence (88p) per week the third year. Initially the farmer was to give them 1 shilling per week pocket money and bank the rest of the wage in the Post Office until ten pounds was saved. Then that sum was to be paid to the farmer who had paid that much for the boy's fare out to New Zealand. The boys left UK on 22nd November 1913 aboard the SS Ayrshire and arrived in New Zealand on 17th January 1914. Due to the name of the ship, they became known as the "Ayrshire Boys". Sydney PLEDGER was 6 feet tall and weight 12 stone 12 pounds, so hardly a boy!

Unfortunately the photograph does not have their names.


It is just possible that this is the Sydney named on the memorial but efforts to find his death through UK or New Zealand military records have so far failed. Hopefully a relative will come forward with some more clues

Sydney Pledger was born in Stoke by Clare on 25th March 1892 (Risbridge Q2-1892 4A:716), baptised in St John the Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 11th May 1892, son of George and Martha PLEDGER (née CLARKE).


He was admitted to Stoke by Clare National/Voluntary School in June 1895.

1901 census...Aged 9, he was in Chapel Street with his parents George and Martha PLEDGER (née CLARKE), brothers Herbert (farm labourer) and brother Jesse [10] sisters Grace [11] and Ethel [3] born Stoke.

1911 census...Aged 19, a domestic gardener, he was with his father, brother Joseph George (farm labourer) and sister Grace, still in Chapel Street, Stoke by Clare. His mother had died in 1908.

He sailed from Liverpool aboard the SS Ayrshire on 23rd November 1913, arriving in Auckland on 20th January 1914. Then his whereabouts becomes a mystery No death details are known.
He remains a mystery

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