Shadow

The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

World War One

Sydney William Young

KILLED IN ACTION - 19th JULY 1918 - AGED 25


SWYoung

Sidney Young grave stone. (Click to zoom)

BORN 1891 IN CLOPHILL.

LANCE CORPORAL 16740 2ND REGIMENT SOUTH AFRICAN INFANTRY.

ENLISTED .

COMMEMORATED IN COMMEMORATED: METEREN MILITARY CEMETERY, NORD, FRANCE

At the time of his death his parents George and Elizabeth, lived at Ketton Cottage, now 41 High Street. In 1911 they lived in The Strand. His father was a butcher. They had had 5 children 4 of whom had survived. Sydney did not live with them at this time. Perhaps he had emigrated to South Africa.


The Union of South Africa entered the war in August 1914 in support of Great Britain. The 2nd Regiment was formed from the Natal area.

Meteren was occupied by German forces early in October 1914. On October 13 their entrenched positions covering the village were captured by the Allies. The village then remained in Allied hands until the German offensive of April 1918. It was held against heavy German attacks on April 13, but then lost on April 16. On July 19 the 9th (Scottish) Division (2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers and South African Composite Battalion) recovered the site of the village after a fortnight's bombardment, which completely destroyed the houses. On the day Sydney died at least 16 others from the South African Infantry also died at Meteren.

The Ampthill News reported in August 1918:-

"Universal sympathy prevailed on Monday for Mr. & Mrs. George Young and family, in the loss of their son, Corpl. Sidney Young, South African Contingent. He had seen much active service. He joined the South African Forces early, and was in German East Africa for eighteen months. He had several attacks of malaria, and was discharged. On his recovery he volunteered again for service in France. He came to England for training, and then went to France. He was killed on July 17th. A letter from the officer of his Company states that in an advance the whole of his section was killed."