SYER, Hubert Lionel [M.C.]

Captain, Hubert Lionel SYER M.C.
Aged 40

1st/14th Battalion, London Regiment (London Scottish)
formerly No 8216, Gordon Highlanders
formerly 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Rifle Volunteers
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 18th November 1916

Military Cross and Queen's South Africa medal - clasps Cape Colony-Orange Free State- Laings Neck-Belfast-South Africa 1901
Hubert Lionel Syer was born in Kedington on 10th March 1878 (Risbridge Q2-1878 4A:512), baptised on 9th June 1878 in St Peter and St Paul's, Kedington, 4th son of Rev. Barrington Blomfield and Amelia Katherine Syer (née WRIGHT)

1881 census...Aged 3, he was at The Rectory, Kedington with his father Barrington Blomfield SYER [39] Rector of Kedington; his mother Amelia Katherine [35] born Huddersfield, Yorkshire; his sisters Edith A [10], Mabel K [6], Violet E [1] and Flora L [5 months]; brothers Barrington B [8], William C [7] and Richard H [5]. All except his mother were born in Kedington.

1891 census...Aged 13, he was at The Rectory, Kedington with his parents; brothers Richard H, Edward H [7] and Frederick R [6]; sister Flora L and Kathleen [4]. The new siblings born in Kedington.

1901 census... Aged 23, he was in South Africa in the Gordon Highlanders. His parents were still at the Rectory, Kedington with his sisters Violet E and Flora L, and brother Edward H.

In 1907, 1908 and 1909 he was renting two furnished rooms at Albury Villa, College Road, Cheshunt from Joseph Dean of that address.

He married Helen May HICKS in Q3-1908.

1911 census...Aged 33, he was a clerk in the Stock Exchange, living at "The Pippins", Roydon, Essex with his wife Helen May [29] born North Shields, Northumberland. They do not appear ever to have had children. With them in Roydon was his widowed mother. His father had died in Kedington on 30th September 1909.

The family, Hubert seated right...thanks to Nick Wright for photo

From his medal index card it seems his widow moved to "Westwoode", Little Maplestead, nr Halstead, Essex.

Firstly he was a private in the 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Rifle Volunteers, then The Gordon Highlanders.
He attested for the Gordon Highlanders, in London, on 16th January 1900, giving his age as 21 years 10 months, born in Kedington, a clerk living at 83 Mer? Avenue, West Hampstead. 5 feet 7.25 inches (170.8 cm) tall, weighing 164 lbs (74.6 kg), chest 33.5" to 36 " (85.1 to 91.4 cm), he had grey green eyes, light brown hair and was Church of England.
No 8216, posted to South Africa on 25th February 1900 , returned to UK on 29th April 1901 and was discharged on 9th May 1901. His clasps to the Queen's S Africa medal were for Belfast, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Laings Neck. Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour has this :-
SYER,HUBERT LIONEL.M.C. Capt.,14th Battn.(London Scottish) The London Regiment (TF).4th s of the Rev.Barrington Blomfield Syer, Rector of Kedington, by his wife Amelia Katherine, dau.of the late Rev.William Wright,Head Master of the Royal Grammar school, Colchester; b. Kedington Rectory co.Suffolk,10 March 1878; educ. Felixstowe; was on the Stock Exchange; joined the London Scottish in 1895; served in the South African War, 1899-1902, attached to the Gordon Highlanders, winning the Queen's Medal with 5 clasps; rejoined the London Scottish on the outbreak of the European War and volunteered for foreign service; obtained a commission as 2nd Lieut. 1 Sept.1914; was promoted Capt. 13 Nov following; served with the Expeditionary Force in France form 30 Dec.1914; took part in the Battle of Loos in Sept.1915; was Regimental Transport Officer at Boulogne for a few months in 1916; rejoined his regiment in July and died in St Thomas' Hospital, London SW.,18 Nov. from wounds received in action on the Somme 19.Sept. His Colonel wrote :"Captain Syer embodied everything which a soldier should be; a wonderful organizer, brave almost to a fault, he at all times set an example of courage and endurance under hardships and peril. He was beloved by all ranks, and his death is a severe loss to the regiment and the British Army. I have lost a splendid officer." Capt. Syer was mentioned in despatches [London Gazette, 1 Jan 1916] by F.M.Sir John (now Lord) French for gallant and distinguished service in the field and was awarded the Military Cross [London Gazette,13 Jan 1916] for meritorious service in the field at Loos. He Holy Saviour's, Tynemouth, Northumberland, 12 Sept.1908, Helen May, youngest dau. of the rev Canon Herbert S.Hicks M.A., Rural Dean and Vicar of Tynemouth Priory; s.p.

On 19th September 1916 his battalion was in the line on the road between Leuze Wood and Bouleaux Wood. The battalion had 11 killed that day, only one with a known grave.

His grave in Hampstead


Hubert Syer is buried in Hampstead cemetery, grave H:12:118
and commemorated on the Stock Exchange memorial,
also on the war memorial on the green and the lych gate of St Peter's in Roydon, Essex

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

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