Old Silhillian Lance Corporal Sydney Vernon Pickering, aged 22, was killed in action on 15th March 1917, whilst serving with “C” Company, 12th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Born in Moseley on 5th July 1894, he was the youngest of the two children of parents Frederick (a soap and candle manufacturer) and Emily (née Collins). His brother John Howard Pickering (1893-1985) also served in the First World War.
Sydney entered Solihull Grammar School in 1907, and left in 1910, having passed the Oxford Local Examinations (these were school leaving examinations established by the University of Oxford and taken locally). After leaving school, he joined the staff of the London City and Midland Bank in New Street, Birmingham on 18th July 1910.
On 19th January 1916, Sydney joined the 31st Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and went to France in August 1916. He was later transferred to the Middlesex Regiment and was killed in action on 15th March 1917. He is buried at Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France and is also commemorated locally at Solihull School, as well as at St Mary’s Church, Moseley. His name also appears on the Midland Bank war cards – an index of the approximately 4000 men of the bank’s staff who went off to fight in the First World War. The cards have been digitised and are freely available on Lives of the First World War website (free log in required to view details).
If you have any further information about Sydney Pickering, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977