Sydney Eade 1889 – 1914
Research by John Birch, Wrecclesham War Memorial World War I 1914-1919 (privately printed). Typed up (with permission) by Josh Waldron.
Private Sydney Eade was born on 31 May 1889 in the Upper Bourne, Wrecclesham, the son of Minnie Wilkinson. There appears to be no birth or baptism registration for Sydney and, as he retains the surname Eade, it is presumed he was illegitimate. Minnie was the daughter of Alfred James and Fanny Eade (nee Nash) who had been married at St Peter’s church on 17 November 1877. The Eade family was living in Upper Bourne and appear in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Censuses which record Alfred James as being a labourer. There is no record of Minnie having been born but it is assumed she was their first born child, Alice, who was born in 1878 and subsequently adopted an alternative name. Sydney’s father was a Canadian soldier, Private R.E.A. Wilkinson, and in 1914 Minnie was living at 107b Linden Grove, Nunhead, Surrey. There is no record of a marriage between the couple. There is however a service record which confirms this parentage and that Fanny Eade is Sydney’s grandmother. It is assumed that Sydney was brought up by his grandmother as he appears living with his grandparents in the 1901 Census but is referred to as ‘son’.
At the age of 18 years and 2 months, on 30 September 1907, Sydney signed up for a 7 year term with the 2nd Battalion of the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, Service Number 9124. On enrolment Sydney had been working as an indoor servant. Sydney had an eventful early service with the Queen’s which between 1907 and 1914 took him to Colchester, Gibraltar, Bermuda and South Africa. In October 1914 the Queen’s were mobilised for war from Lyndhurst and landed at Zeebrugge where they were engaged in various actions on the Western Front. Sydney was killed in action on 30 October 1914 soon after arriving in Belgium. He died in the Battle of Ypres, where he is commemorated on the Memorial at Menin Gate for soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.