Battalion 8th Battalion
Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Killed in Action: 20th July 1918
Buried Marfaux British Cemetery, France
Sidney Herbert Bray was born at 19 Savile Crescent in Halifax on the 26th November 1882, the 5th child of Ralph England Bray and his wife Edith Mary Bray. In 1911, Sidney was living with his parents at Hedlands, Knaresborough. He gave his occupation as a bank clerk. Sidney married Edith Mary Stansfield on the 16th June 1914 at St.Jude's Church in Halifax. At that time Sidney was a bank clerk. Later, after his father's death, Sidney's mother moved to "Warley" in Collingham. In 1916, Sidney and Edith's daughter, Catherine, was born and was baptised in Collingham Church.
In 1917 Sidney was on the staff of Messrs Beckett's bank in Leeds when he joined the Artist's Rifles In January 1917, and he was granted a commission in the West Yorkshire Regiment in November 1917. Sidney first went to France on 11th January 1918 and he served in the 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment. In mid July 1918, this battalion was stationed around Teurs-sur-Marne in France. On the 20th July this battalion took part in an attack at 8am near the villages of Marfaux and Cuitron covered by a heavy artillery barrage. At first the attack went well, but within an hour of zero hour the advance was completely held up by heavy machine gun fire and many casualties were recorded in front of Marfaux and Cuitron.
At some point on that day, Second Lieutenant Sidney Herbert Bray was Killed in Action. The battalion's casualties for 20th July were: Officers killed – Capt. G.G. Kinder, MC; Capt J.E. Appleyard; Lt W.M. Wilkinson; 2nd Lt. E.H. Shuttleworth; 2nd Lt. W.H. Dawson; 2nd Lt. T.R. Williams and 2nd Lt. S.H. Bray. Officers wounded – 2nd Lt. R.B. Wesley, 2nd Lt. W. Oliver and Lt. J.H. Banton. 43 other ranks were killed, 199 were wounded, 20 were missing, 3 were listed as wounded and missing and 26 wounded (gas).
Sidney's body was originally buried in Cuitron cemetery, but was later exhumed and re-buried in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Marfaux.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25890
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
First World War Officer's Service Records WO339/112205 The National Archives.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery and Burial Reports
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