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“Sidney was the youngest son of William & Elizabeth Gotts (nee Taylor) (how glamorous to have a great grandmother called Elizabeth Taylor!) His DOB is given as 1892 in Camberwell, not 1986 as recorded in CWGC records. He was working as a cabinet maker, prior to going to war. The family worked in various trades -stone cutters, grocers. painters & decorators, removal men – generally made themselves useful.
His elder brother Percy William had a successful Grocery business in Hampstead & survived WW1, although he died prematurely as a result of the mustard gas he suffered in the trenches.
Sidney Gotts was a Private No 41012 in the 6th Battalion Kings Own Scottish Boarders. He died of his wounds on 16/4/1917 after Flanders and his grave X1X 12a is at Etaples Military cemetery. This Cemetery was designed by Lutyens.
This link describes the Etaples hospital and training camp: “
“Wilfred Owen's description is worth repeating:-
“A vast, dreadful encampment. It seemed neither France nor England, but a kind of paddock where the beasts are kept a few days before the shambles … Chiefly I thought of the very strange look on all the faces in that camp; an incomprehensible look, which a man will never see in England; nor can it be seen in any battle, but only in Etaples. It was not despair, or terror, it was more terrible than terror, for it was a blindfold look, and without expression, like a dead rabbit’s.”
Halfway down the page is a link to a video of a mass burial there when the hospital was bombed in 1918 and killed 66 Canadian troops:
“ Two months before Sidney's death, my grandfather Percy William Gotts had a son DOB Feb 1917 and named him Percy Sidney, so it is likely he was named after his uncle. Percy Sidney served in WW11 as a mechanic in the RAF and lived to be 80 years.”
Perhaps this was of some consolation to William & Elizabeth , who had their youngest son Sidney in WW1. The family address was given as Hillingdon Street, Walworth in the CWGC records, and was close to the Royal Standard public house. My grandfather set up his Grocery business in Hampstead, so did very well considering the terrible events of the times. “
See Carole's notes on Percy William:
Sidney’s Soldier’s Will is one of the few that can be bought from the Probate office. It is wrongly identified as Stanley, registered as dying on 16/04/1917.
On the next page are details of where Sidney was wounded