680680 GNR. S. NAYLOR.  R.F.A.

 

Sidney Naylor was born on 21 May 1887 in Preston and baptised at Preston St. Paul’s on 10 June that year.  His father was William Naylor (b. 1845 in Preston), a weights and measures inspector.  His mother was Margaret Alice Parkinson (b. 1852 in Preston).  William and Margaret were married in 1884 and they had two children: Frank (b. 1885) and Sidney.  William died in 1905, so in 1911, Margaret was living with her two sons at 23 Holmrook Road, Preston.  Sidney was working as an office clerk for the Cooperative Society.  Margaret died later that year.

 

The following year, 1912, Sidney married Minnie Jackson (b. 1892 in Preston) and the couple had two sons: William Sidney (1913-1917) and John Cyril (b. 1916).  Life must have been especially difficult for this family, with John being born whilst Sidney was either in training or possibly already in France, and William dying while Sidney was serving in France.

 

Sidney joined the Royal Field Artillery and was assigned service number 680680.  This number is among a batch of men who were posted to 287 Brigade, mainly either “A” or “B” Battery.  So it seems likely that Sidney enlisted in 1915 and did his training with 286 Brigade before landing in France in February 1917.  However, he was later transferred to “D” Battery of 36 Brigade.  D/36 was formed in May 1916 and came under orders of 2nd Division.  2nd Division fought through both phases of the German Spring Offensive in 1918 and then in the 100 Days at Havrincourt, the Canal du Nord and Cambrai.  Sidney Naylor was killed in action during the advance on Cambrai, on 8 October 1918.  He was 31 years old.

 

Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  680680

Date of Death:  08/10/1918

Age:  31

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery.  “D” Battery, 36th Brigade

Cemetery/memorial reference: VI. B. 2.

Cemetery/Memorial:  FLESQUIERES HILL BRITISH CEMETERY

 

Sidney’s brother Frank also served in the Army.  He was 25726 PTE. F. NAYLOR, and he served with 10th Battalion in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.  10Bn came under orders of 37th Division, and in 1918, Sidney’s Division (2nd Division) and 37th Division were fighting alongside each other at Havrincourt, the Canal du Nord and Cambrai, so the brothers would have been in close proximity when Sidney was killed.  In 1911, Frank had married Mary Alice Waddington (b. 1886 in Preston).  He survived the War, and died in 1944.

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