COWDREY, Sidney John

No.320379, Lance Sergeant, Sidney John COWDREY
Aged 24

15th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 3262, Suffolk Yeomanry
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 6th November 1917

Sidney John Cowdrey was born in Drayton, Berkshire in 1893 (Abingdon Q3-1893 2C:301), son of George and Agnes Ellen COWDREY (née BOULTON).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Monkton Street, Isle of Thanet, Kent, with his father George [44] stud groom born Devizes; his mother Ellen [33] born Stratton, Glos.,brother George [14] a jockey, born Lambourn, brother Bertie [13] born Lambourn and sister Agnes Winifred [11] born Lambourn, brothers Charles Henry [10], Reginald [7] and sister Ethel Ellen [3] all born in Drayton, brothers William Joseph [1] and Robert Edward [3 months] both born in Monkton.

1911 census...Aged 17, he was a racing apprentice, boarding at Allington Hill Farm, Hare Park, Six Mile Bottom with Susan BAILEY and her son George.

His surname is spelled incorrectly on the war memorial. His brother Reginald was killed on the 1st day of the Somme July 1st 1916 and another brother, William Joseph was killed in October 1918 in France. All three brothers are commemorated on the war memorial at St Nicholas at Wade and Sarre, Kent. Another brother, Robert, served 62 days in the 25th Training Reserve Battalion in 1917 before they found out he had lied about his age.

He enlisted in Woodbridge.
The Suffolk Yeomanry, to their disgust, had to leave their horses behind when sent to Gallipoli and become Infantrymen. Early in 1917 they had a title change to become the 15th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
Having fought at Bersheba and Wadi Saba, the 15th Suffolks were again in action on the 6th November attacking trenches covering Seria. They quickly achieved all objectives but were then ordered not to advance any further. Having beaten off a counter attack, the battalion was relieved that evening. Their losses had been 19 killed, all buried in known graves in Beersheba War Cemetery.

Even the Army could not always spell his name correctly, see his medal index cards.

His brothers Reginald and William also fell, this plaque is the War Memorial in the church of St Nicholas at St Nicholas-at-Wade, Kent.

photo; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Sidney Cowdrey is buried in Beersheba War Cemetery, Palestine - grave M:46

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details