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War Memorials



In Memory of
SIDNEY LEVERS PRICE
Private 200877
1st/5th Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment
Who died on Saturday, 1st July 1916
Age 34

No Known Grave. Pier & Face 10C 10D & 11A
Thiepval "Memorial to the Missing", Somme, France

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
&
Remembered with Honour
Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval "Memorial to the Missing", France1

Sidney Levers Price was born in Beeston on 27 July 1881 and was baptised in the Parish Church on 7 September of that year2, the son of Thomas (b. c1845, Beeston) and Hannah Price (b. c1848, Bramcote, Notts, née Warrington), Sidney being the youngest of their six children.3. In 1901, the family was living at 49 Chilwell Road, Beeston with Thomas working as a lace maker and Sidney working as a railway engine cleaner4. Thomas died in 1902. In 1905, Sidney married Annie Evelyn Skipworth.5, the elder daughter of Samuel (c1856-1937) & Charlotte Priscilla Skipworth (c1862-1925 née, Lord). Samuel had moved to Beeston with his family in about 1890 to trade as a grocer at 9 High Road, on the north side of Beeston Square. By 1911, Sidney was working as a lace maker and living with his family at 69 Curzon Street, Long Eaton6. Their son Stanley had been born in 1906, followed by their daughter, Dorothy Evelyn, in 1913.

Prior to the war, it appears that Sidney may have been already active with the Territorial Force so that, when war came in August, 1914, he would have enlisted early, signing up with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment and joining its 1st/5th Battalion which, as a whole, landed in France in February 1915 as part of the Sherwood Foresters Brigade in North Midland Division. Private Hazzledine was not, however, part of the original contingent, as he is known to have been stationed at Biscot Camp in Luton, Bedfordshire in early April 1915. It seems therefore that he was part of reinforcements which joined the battalion at some time later that year. It is therefore likely that he saw action in the Ypres Salient and was involved in the Battle of Loos, a period of terrible fighting with huge losses7.

In the last days of June 1916, the Battalion was in position, as part of 46th (North Midland) Division, for what was to be the great Somme offensive against the German held Leipzig Salient. During this time, the German lines were pounded by artillery fire which was so intense at times that it was thought that the enemy defences would be so destroyed as to make the intended major attack possible. Bad weather had delayed the attack intended for 28th June and the Battalion was held in the Foncguevillers area, at the northern end of the line, opposite Gommecourt, awaiting orders to move forward for the attack. At 7.27am on 1st July, smoke was discharged and the battalion, with 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters to the right, attacked in four waves at 7.30am. In the confusion of heavy smoke and unexpectedly strong German counter-attacks, only a small number of men were able to reach the German line, having found gaps in the wire. Overall, the men faced very heavy resistance, heavy machine gun fire and bombing attacks which made significant advances impossible and there were very heavy casualties. German artillery fire bombarded the trenches all morning resulting in many more casualties. By the time the battalion was withdrawn later in the day it had lost 19 officers and 247 men killed or missing and 7 officers and 222 men were wounded8. Private Price was amongst the great number who were killed on that terrible day.

Private Price's body was never found and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, which now stands adjacent to the Leipzig Redoubt. The Thiepval War Memorial to the Missing was unveiled on the 1st August 1932 by the then Prince of Wales and is the largest British War Memorial in the world. Standing 150 feet high, it dominates the surrounding area. The memorial stands on a concrete raft 10ft thick, built 19ft below the ground, the solution to the problems of building over the warren of tunnels that formed the German second line. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens the memorial has sixteen masonry piers, where can be found, on the panel faces, the names of some 72,000 British and 830 South African soldiers who died and have no known grave, during the period starting in July 1915, when the British Third Army took over from the French, through the Somme battles of 1916, until 20th March 1918, the eve of the last great German offensive on the Somme. The focal point of the memorial is the Stone of Remembrance, which lies under the great arch and centrally between the piers, for which Rudyard Kipling chose a quotation from Ecclesiasticus, "There name liveth forevermore".

Private Price was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His wife received his pay of 13s 9d on 19 July 1917 and a War Gratuity of 7 10s on 3 October 19199. After his death, his widow and children lived at first at 2 Wilkinson Avenue, Beeston and later at 15 Clinton Street, Beeston10. She remained a widow and died in 1978, aged 92.


Footnotes
1The photograph of the Thiepval Memorial is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)
2His birth date and baptism date are recorded in the Beeston Parish Church Baptism Register.
3Sidney's siblings were Gerald (b. c1870), Walter Warrington (b. 1871), Gilbert Cecil (b. 1875), Mildred Eleanor (b. 1878) and Thomas Henry (b. 1880>.
4Beeston, Notts, 1901 Census, Piece 3153 Folio 61
5Their marriage took place in Basford Registration District of which Beeston was part) in Q4/1905 (Ref 7b 449).
6Long Eaton, Derbyshire, 1911 Census, Piece 20838 RD434 SD4 ED17 Schedule 333
7As Private Hazzledine's Army Service Record has not survived, details of his likely enlistment and arrival in France later than his battalion as a whole is based on the battalion's war diaries and his dated contibution to a visitors book when billoted in Luton, Bedfordshire. (see www.worldwar1luton.com/individual/private-sidney-levers-price ). His possible involvement in the Territorial Force is indicated by a record of an earlier service number (3155).
8This account is based on the Battalion's war diary.
9WW1 Medal Card and "Army Register of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929" - available on ancestry.com. The amount of the gratuity tends to indicate that he enlisted in November 1914. There is no date of posting to France on the Medals Card.
10Annie Evelyn is recorded at this address on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial to her husband.

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