Lance Corporal Sydney Howard Falconbridge was killed in action on 6th February 1917 serving with the 143rd Company, Machine Gun Corps. He was born in Hampton-in-Arden in 1893 to parents, George (a police constable) and Ellen Ann (née Knight), who had married at Hatton in 1888. He was the third of the couple’s eight children (four sons, four daughters). Some records spell his name as Sidney.
He enlisted initially in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, receiving the Army number 2128. An older brother, Harold Victor (1891-1965) seems to have enlisted around the same time, receiving the number 2118. Both brothers transferred to the Machine Gun Corps – Harold receiving the number 24403 and Sydney the number 24400. Harold was wounded at the beginning of January 1917, just a couple of weeks before younger brother Sydney was killed. Their older brother, Ronald George Knight Falconbridge (1889-1953) also seems to have served in the war, as a Corporal with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, although he doesn’t appear to have seen any active service before 1916.
It seems the family was in Hampton for a fairly brief period – c. 1893-c. 1896. By 1901, when Sydney was seven years old, the Falconbridge family was in Aston Manor, moving to Nuneaton between 1904-1907. They then remained in Nuneaton until at least the 1920s. By 1911, Sydney and his brother, Harold, were both employed as finishers at a hat factory.
Lance Corporal Sydney Falconbridge was originally posted as missing but a newspaper announcement on 5th March 1917 said he was now believed to be wounded and missing. He is buried at Assevillers New British Cemetery in France. It also appears that he is commemorated at St James’s Church, Weddington, Nuneaton. He does not appear on the war memorial in his birthplace of Hampton-in-Arden.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977