Elkin, Sydney

Sidney Elkin, Driver T4/093263, 26th Div. Train, Army Service Corps
Died 3rd June 1916 in Salonika, Greece, aged 21

 

EARLY LIFE

Sydney Elkin was born in Macclesfield in late 1894, the son of Betsy and William Elkin, a silk weaver. In 1901, six year old Sydney was living at 5 Cross Street with his parents and siblings Herbert (12), Edward (11), Bertha (9), Gertrude (7), Beatrice (4), Alice (2) and eleven-month old baby Hilda.

Sydney was educated at Christ Church School.

By 1911 the family had moved to 41 Nixon’s Yard (also called Thomas Street), off Roe Street, and three more children had been born: Frank (9), Maggie (6) and Arthur (3).  Sidney had left school and was employed as a chain horse boy; he later found employment as a groom at Sutton Hall, near Macclesfield.

Sydney’s parents later moved to 75 Marlborough St, Burnley, Lancashire.

 

WW1 SERVICE

Sydney enlisted at Chester on 28th April 1915, joining the Army Service Corps, no doubt because of his experience of working with horses – at the time of enlistment he was employed as a groom. He was described as 5 feet 3 inches tall and had a 32 inch chest.

Sydney was initially sent to Aldershot on the 30th April 1915, and transferred to 33 Division Train ASC at Derby on 14th May. He was drafted to Greece on 25th November 1915, and became ill with dysentery the following year. He succumbed to that disease on 3rd June 1916 at the age of 21.

His death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier of 8th July 1916:

DRIVER S. ELKIN

Mr W Elkin, of 41 Thomas Street, Macclesfield, has received official information that his son, Driver Sydney Elkin, of the Army Service Corps, has succumbed to dysentery whilst serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Writing to the deceased’s parents, Liet. D W Ritchie, of the R.A.M.C., states: “He was seen by specialists, and under treatment he appeared to be rallying; but just when he seemed to have turned the corner hemorrhage set in and carried him off. I can assure you that everything possible was done to make him comfortable during his illness and I can only conclude by offering you my deepest sympathy for the loss of such a promising boy.”

The chaplain (Rev W Cooper) also sent a sympathetic message, in the course of which he said: ” Your dear boy won the hearts of everyone here… he was so patient, brave and gentle. We laid the body to rest in the French and English Cemetery at Salonika. Each soldier has a separate grave, with a white wooden cross bearing his name, regiment, and rank.”

Deceased was 21 years of age, and enlisted in April, 1915, prior to which he was employed as a groom at Sutton Hall. He was of a cheery disposition, and was educated at Christ Church School. He has a brother on active service.

 

 

COMMEMORATION

Driver Sydney Elkin is buried in Grave Ref. 139. in the Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, Greece (formerly known as the French and English Cemetery). Sydney’s mother requested that a cross and the following inscription should be added to his headstone:

FOR HIM THERE DAWNS NO DARK TO-MORROW BUT GOD’S ETERNAL DAY

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Driver Sydney Elkin.

In Macclesfield, Driver Sydney Elkin is commemorated on the Park Green, Town HallSt Michael’s Church, Christ Church School and Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of Herbert Elkin, who also served with the ASC and survived the war.


Comments

Elkin, Sydney — 1 Comment

  1. My grandfather was Herbert Elkin, elder brother of Sydney, also serving with the Cheshires. My mother, Jessie, recalled that Herbert was prevented from going to see his brother to give comfort before he died. Both he and my great-grandmother never got over Sydney’s death and she had to fight tooth and nail to get his name included on the War Memorial on Park Green as he died of illness not of wounds so was not considered worthy of inclusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *