Service Number 13977
Battalion 11th Battalion
Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Sidney Herbert Danby was an early recruit from Collingham into the services in the Great War. The Wetherby News of the 18th September 1914 lists his name as having attested for service in Harrogate, and the Collingham Parish Magazine of December 1914 lists him as serving in the 11th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. His service record has not survived, but we can piece together something of his life and service.
He was born on the 10th November 1888 in Parson's Green, London, the son of John Danby, a house builder from Thirsk and his wife Sophia. Sidney's baptism took place on the 2nd December 1888 at St.Dionis Church, Parsons Green and by the 5th April 1891 (the date of the 1891 census) Sidney was living at 43 Radcliffe Square, Kensington with his parents and brother Archibald (b. 1885) and sisters Florie (b. 1886) and Sophia (b. 1887). There is a burial record for Sophia Danby, aged 33, at St.Michael's Church, East Ardsley, Yorkshire on the 7th April 1894 and we think this may be Sidney's mother. In any case, by the 31st March 1901, when that census was taken. Sidney's father was a widower living at 38 Bankade Street, Potternewton, Leeds with his family Archibald, Florrie, Sophia and Sidney and a housekeeper, Harriett Worsnick. Emma W Southgate was also visiting on that day. In the next decade, John moved to Collingham and by 1911, Sidney was living with his widowed father and a housekeeper and servant in Collingham.
Near the start of the war, in 1915, we think that Sidney married Emma W Womack in Barton upon Irwell in Lancashire. Emma's mother Harriet Isabella Womack had been housekeeper to John Danby in Collingham in 1911, so it is likely that Sidney met Emma through that family connection and Sidney and Emma had a son, John S. Danby in 1916 (registered in Chorlton, Lancs), who was born after Sidney had gone overseas to serve.
Sidney served in the 11th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment with the service number 13977 and was a Warrant Officer Class II, and was also the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. He first went to France on the 26th August 1915 and was awarded the 1914/15 Star and the War and Victory Medals for his service. His medal entitlement card also shows he was on the roll of individuals entitled to the 'Emblems'. This means that at some stage in his military career he was Mentioned in Despatches on the 28th May 1918. Sidney was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the New Year's Honours list in 1919.
A brief article in The Wetherby News gives a little detail of his family ties:
After the war Sidney returned to the UK but we do not think he returned to Collingham. A first possible mention of Sidney after the war is in 1923 when he and his wife and son appear on the passenger list of the "Arnadale Castle" sailing from Southampton on the 2nd November 1923 for Cape Town, South Africa. Sidney gave his occupation as "Engineer" and his address as Ivy Cottage, Hill End, Droitwich. They gave their intended country of permanent residence as South Africa, but on the 9th March 1924, Sidney Herbert Danby and his wife Emma and son John Sidney arrived back in the UK on the Dunluce Castle from Cape Town. Their UK address was then given as c/o Midland Bank, Droitwich. By 1939 we find a record of Sidney and Emma at 133, Woodland Road, Acocks Green in Birmningham in the 1939 Registration Roll. Sidney is a wholesale and retailer in sweets, confectionary and tobacco.
Sidney Herbert Danby, of Pinelea, 67 Church Road, Ferndown, near Bournemount, Dorset, died on the 14th February 1977.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
The Wetherby News 18/9/1914 & 14/1/1916
The Collingham Parish Magazine Dec 1914, Jan 1915, & Feb 1915
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
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