Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 7, 1882
Place of BirthLondon
CountryEngland
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMary Weston, wife, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingWatchmaker
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number820654
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 25, 1916
Age at Enlistment34
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 1, 1917
Age at Death35
Buried AtAbbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France
PlotIII. E. 22.

Weston, Sidney

Sidney Weston was born on 7 May 1882 in Newington, London, England. He was the son of George and Emma (née Tucker) Weston who had married on 26 May 1867 in Newington.  For the 1891 census the family was living in Newington, London, Sidney’s father’s occupation listed as greengrocer. Children living in the household were George, Emily, Florence, Christina, Charles, Sidney, and Alfred (Arthur). For the 1901 census household members were parents George (greengrocer)  and Emma, and children Charles, Sidney, and Arthur, along with boarders Ellen Bailey, William Rich, William Yale, and Pienepont Valyer. Sidney was working as a clock maker while Charles was a solicitor’s clerk.

On 24 April 1905, registered in Walworth, Southwark, London, Sidney Weston married Mary Gudgeon, daughter of Robert  and Mary (née Hooton) Gudgeon. Sidney and Mary’s first child, daughter Ivy, was born in May of 1906. Sidney left England for Canada with his brother George aboard the Tunisian, arriving 2 March 1907. Both listed their occupations as watchmakers. Mary (listed as Annie) and Ivy, accompanied by Sidney’s brother Alfred, also arrived in 1907, aboard the Empress of Britain that docked in Quebec on August 16th. The 1911 Canada census found Sidney, Mary, their three children, Ivy, Sidney (born 1 November 1908), and George (born 7 April 1911) as well as Sidney’s brother Alfred and Mary’s brother Alex Gudgeon, living on 8th Street in Keewatin. Sidney was employed in the office of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company while Mary’s occupation was listed as nurse. Both Alfred and Alexander were also  working at the mill. Another child, Alfred, had been born on 10 May 1910 but died two days later. With a disease rampant at the time, little Ivy died of scarlet fever 3 November 1913 in Keewatin.

Sidney Weston enlisted on 25 April 1916 in Keewatin, Ontario. With the  141st Battalion Sidney left Kenora by train on 1 August 1916, headed to Port Arthur, Ontario for training. On 20 April 1917 the Battalion headed east on it first leg of the journey overseas, embarking from Halifax 29 April aboard the Olympic.

Upon arrival in England Sidney was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion, taken on strength at Shorncliffe. In June he was drafted to the 52nd Battalion, landing in France on the 22nd. By 18 July 1917 he had joined the unit in the field.

On 1 November 1917 Private Sidney Weston was  transferred from the No 8 Field Ambulance to Abbeville suffering from gunshot wounds to the spine received two days earlier. On 1 December 1917, Private Sidney Weston died of his wounds at the No. 2 Stationary Hospital in Abbeville, only a few short months after leaving Canada. He is interred in the Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension in Abbeville, Somme, France. His service  record indicates that while hospitalized, he received a telephone message from his mother, with a possible visit expected.

After the war Mary and children Sidney and George returned to England aboard the Minnedosa, arriving in Liverpool on 21 August 1919, destination address 30 Spital Street, Lincoln. Her brothers Thomas and Alexander Gudgeon had given the same address for their mother as next of kin on their attestation papers in 1915. Mary returned to Canada in June of 1920 and was later found on an UK incoming passenger list of August 1920 of the Scotian, destination address 40 Mostyn Road, Brixton, London, England.  Cemetery Register dispatch was sent 21 June 1923 to Mrs. Mary Weston at the same address.

For the 1911 England census Sidney’s mother Emma was living at 10 Gurney Street, New Kent Road SE, London along with adult children Florence and Charles. She was listed as married and living on private means. In the same census Sidney’s father George was listed as a retired boarder at widowed daughter Emily Heard’s residence at 334 Commercial Road, Peckham SE, London along with her three stepchildren and 4 month old daughter Christina. Emily was operating her late husband’s coffee stall. Emma died in June  of 1918 and likely father George in the first quarter of 1920, deaths registered in Southwark, London.  It is appears that his brothers George and Alfred did not stay in the Kenora/Keewatin area nor served with the Canadian Forces during the war. Sidney’s records have George, living at 10 Gurney Street, New Kent Road, London, presumably with his mother,  listed as next of kin as well as his wife Mary. Alfred was found on the incoming UK passenger list of the Pretorian that arrived in Glasgow 25 July 1915, his destination address was also 10 Gurney Street.

Mary’s brothers Thomas and Alexander Gudgeon who had enlisted in Kenora and served overseas returned to Kenora after the war.

The town of Keewatin held a demonstration in August of 1919 to honour all who served during the war. Badges and medals were given to the veterans and next of kin of those died during the war. On the recognition list published in the local paper was Sidney’s name.

Private Sidney Weston is commemorated on page 347 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Keewatin Cenotaph in Beatty Park, Keewatin, Ontario, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour plaque, on two plaques hanging in the Keewatin St James Anglican Church, on the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque, and on the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour.

by Judy Stockham

 

Grave marker photograph by Len, findagrave.com.


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