Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Sidney Fellowes was the son of Benjamin Fellowes, general labourer, and his wife Isabelle. The family lived on Bernard’s Hill.
After leaving school Sidney worked as a China Calico printer. He volunteered in the early months of the war, joining the 6th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. He went to France with the battalion in July, 1915.
The battalion fought at Loos (1915) Ypres (1916) and the Somme (1916). Sidney was wounded in March 1916. He was killed in action during an enemy attack on 17th September, 1916 at Les Boeufs, Somme.
The battalion war diary records: [In trenches in front of Les Boeufs.] "17/9/16 The night was fairly quiet and there was no unusual activity until about 1 pm when the enemy started a Bombing attack on our left Flank & at the same time a large number of men - in small parties, attempted to reinforce the trench fronts over the open from Les Boeufs. The enemy had almost reached our post before they were noticed, and succeeded in driving back those of the garrison who were not killed or severely wounded. At the same time they laid out the personnel of the Machine-Gun Coy Gun and this was not afterwards seen. The N.C.O. in charge of the Bombing Post (L/Cpl Lockley) got together his men and some others & by outthrowing the Germans drove them back - Two enemy dead were left on our parapet. After this the enemy made several more attempts to come over again . . . but the superior throwing of our men kept them back.
Owing to heavy rain the SOS Rockets were useless. Communication with HdQuarters was established and maintained by runners, and immediately on receipt of the intimation that the enemy were attacking A Company & Batt HdQuarters were sent up to re-inforce the front line but were not required. 4 pm. Our Artillery retaliated and cleared out a lot of the enemy, a number of whom were accounted for on their way back to Les Boeufs. . . Casualties Other Ranks 20 killed 42 wounded."
Private Fellowes, 14498, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 Star. His death was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 7th October, 1916.
KILLED IN ACTION [Bridgnorth Journal 7th October, 1916] Mr. and Mrs. B. Fellows, of 68 Bernard’s Hill, have received official information of the death of their son, 14498 Pte. S. Fellows, of the 6th K.S.L.I., who was killed in action on September 17. He was only 21 years of age and had been wounded three times previously. Previous to his enlistment Pte. Fellows was in the employ of Messrs. T. Whitefoot and Son. The following extracts from letters from his Commanding Officers show the esteem in which he was held by them and his comrades. Major H. E. Welch, in a sympathetic letter to Mrs Fellows, says:- “You will have heard the sad news by now that your boy was killed on 17th September. I was not with the company and did not see him, but I have been making enquiries from his friends, and I find that it was quite instantaneous, and he did not suffer. He was hit somewhere between the shoulders with a piece of shell, but was not knocked about much. He was buried by four of his comrades close to where he fell. I am glad that he had his friends near, even though he was dead. He was a very good soldier, and is a great loss to us. He has done his part in this war well.” – Captain D. S. A. McKimm also wrote regretting the death of Pte. Fellows, expressing sympathy, remarking:- “It will be some small consolation to you to know that he suffered little pain, and that he met his end whilst the Company was holding one of advanced, [sic] and most important portions of the line wrested from the enemy. He always performed his duties willingly, and as a good soldier should. He will be missed by many of his friends in the ranks of the company.”
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.