Organisations/clubs: Eccleshill Congregational Sunday School
Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park and St Luke’s
Sydney Holdsworth was born in 1897 the son of Ecclshill native Charles Arthur Holdsworth and Ruth Anna, nee Wilkinson who came fromWibsey. In 1901 the family were living at 18 Stonehall Place, Eccleshill and two children had been born, Lorna and Sydney. Charles died in 1905 aged 37 years and Ruth and her family went to live with her sister-in-law at 1 Undercliffe Road, Eccleshill. Sydney at the age of 14 years was working as a doffer in the wool warehouse of Messrs. L and A Firth, Mill Street, Bradford.
He enlisted on the 16th of October 1915 as Private 20/11 in the 12th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own). He gave his address as 8 Mount Avenue. Very little is known about Sydney but he took part in the Battle of the Somme. The West Riding Regt. was involved in the Battle of Bazentin Ridge from the 14th to the 17th of July 1916 so it is likely that he was fighting there. He received severe gunshot wounds to his arm, back and leg and died of his wounds on the 23rd
of July 1916 in the General Hospital at Rouen. He was 19 years of age.He is buried in a double grave at the Bois-Guillaume Communal Cemetery in Normandy which contains 160 double graves.He left his effects to his mother Ruth who received £2.8.6d on the 11th of October 1916 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 31st October 1919.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks
On 2 June 1916, the Shipley Times & Express published a letter Sydney had written to a friend:I am in the trenches for the second time when writing you this letterThe first day we went in, three of our men were killed and several wounded but I came through safely.There was only one thing I was a bit timid about and that was a kind of bomb which is 18 inches long and about a foot wide. The cast is of tin and this is filled with all
kinds of old iron. These burst with a loud report and often cause much damage.The first time we saw one of these coming we got out of its way as quickly as possible and in doing so ran into another but fortunately for us the second was a “dud”.Withering fireOn the morning we were relieved we had a short engagement which lasted about half an hour. The Germans intended reaching our
lines but when they were scaling their parapet we poured a withering fire into them and most of them dropped. Whatever move they intended making was nipped in the bud.Our rest camp is not within reach of a YMCA but I am looking forward with pleasure to paying another visit to one of these delightful centres of recreation. I am still in the best of health and having a fairly good time of it.
Sydney was in the newspaper againon 4 August 1916, one of a large number of local men who were casualties of the SommePte Sydney Holdsworth, 12 West Yorks, of 6 Mount Avenue, Eccleshill, has been killed. He is an only son and was previously employed in the Co-operative Boot Department at Eccleshill. He has seen service in the trenches and in his latest communication to a friend intimated that he was undergoing severe training to be ready for open warfare.