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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Sidney Jeffries


Name:  Sidney Jeffries (also Jeffreys/ Jeffreyes)

Rank:  Private

Service Number: 16965

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 8th Service Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 1896

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 10 Somerset Place, Alfred Street, Taunton

Date of Death: 1st July 1916

Place of Death: Somme

Burial/Memorial: Thiepval Memorial

In 1901, Sidney was four years old.  His father & mother were Samuel and Thomasine Jeffreys, both born in the Somerset area.  Samuel worked at the St James Street gas works.   The couple had ten children in all and by 1911, only Mabel (17), Sidney (15) and Bertie (8) were still at home.  The family also had an ex-soldier boarding with them – all in just 4 rooms at Alfred Street.

Sidney enlisted in Taunton & joined one of the new service battalions of volunteers.  He was posted to France, arriving in Le Havre on 10th September 1915.  He may have been involved in the Battle of Loos, an offensive notable for first use of poison gas by the British forces.

The following year Sidney was one of the 58,000 casualties of the British Army who died on the first day of the first Battle of the Somme.

Sidney’s death is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, the memorial to more than 72,000 men who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave.



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