Sidney Jefferies

Memorial: Thornbury - St Mary's Church

Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment

Medals: 1914–15 Star, British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 10767

Parents: Mary Elizabeth Jefferies and stepfather Albert Bridgman

Marital status: Married

Home address: Crossways, Thornbury, Bristol

Pre-war occupation: Farm Labourer

Date of birth: 1886

Place of birth: Thornbury, Bristol

Date of death: 08/08/1915

Buried/Commemorated at: Helles Memorial (Panel 102 to 105); Thornbury United Reformed Church Memorial Tablet

Age: 29

Further information:

Bronze Tablet and Wooden Memorial Board

Sidney Jefferies, whose birth was registered in the June quarter of 1886 in Thornbury, was the son of Mary Elizabeth Jefferies. In 1891 Sidney was living at Crossways, with his mother, brother and sister at his stepfather Albert Bridgman’s home. By 1901 Sidney was employed as a farm servant at Edward Lashford’s farm at Lower Morton. At the time of the 1911 census he appears to be living at Tirphil, Gelligaer, near Merthyr Tydfil, working as a ‘ripper underground’, presumably at a colliery. Sidney married Alice Tandy in the June quarter of 1914 in Thornbury

Sidney joined the 7th Battalion, Glosters. The Regiment sailed from Avonmouth on 19th June 1915. On 11th July the men disembarked from a troop ship at ‘Y’ Beach, Cape Helles, on the Gallipoli peninsular. Gallipoli was then part of the Ottoman Empire

As volunteers of Kitchener’s new army, most of the men in this Battallion had only about ten months training. They were to face some hard fighting at the Battle of Chunuk Bair, one of the highest peaks on the peninsula. The Wellington Battalion (New Zealand and Australian Division) was tasked with taking the peak, reinforced by 7th Battalion Glosters and 8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment

The 7th Battalion advanced before dawn at 4.15 a.m. Soon afterwards the two left platoons came under machine-gun fire and were practically wiped out. The Wellingtons took the summit, backed up by the British. Turkish counter attacks commenced at daybreak. Men fought desperately, firing their rifles until they were too hot to touch. Only shallow scrapes could be dug in the rocky ground and the peak was exposed to Turkish machine gun and sniper fire from nearby hills

General Sir Ian Hamilton wrote, ‘The 7th Glosters suffered terrible losses here. The fire was so hot that they never got a chance to dig their trenches deeper than some six inches, and they had to withstand attack after attack. In the course of these fights every single officer, company sergeant-major, or company quartermaster-sergeant was either killed or wounded, and the Battalion by midday consisted of small groups of men commanded by junior non-commissioned officers or privates...The men fought on until sunset without any officers.’ According to D.S. Daniell’s history of the Gloucester Regiment, only 181 were left alive and unwounded of the 1000 men of all ranks of the Battalion who advanced on Chunuk Bair. Sidney was Killed in Action in the battle

Private George Gallop, named on the Thornbury Memorial, died in the same battle. Sidney and George have no known graves. Their sacrifice is recorded on the Helles Memorial, which stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsular, visible to shipping passing through the Dardanelles

Two of Alice’s brothers, Joseph and Hubert, were killed in France in 1915, serving with the Glosters. Their names are on the Thornbury Memorial

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Thornbury Roots Website. Thornbury and District Research Group. Forces War Records and CWGC