Mark and Margaret Boothby had married in the Macclesfield area in 1894 and, two years later, their son Richard was born at Rainow. Sydney was born there in 1899. Two years later, when the Census was taken, the family was living at Oddfellows Row, Yeardsley cum Whaley - the original Cheshire part of what is now Whaley Bridge. Sydney enlisted into the army at Stockport, he joined the Royal Fusiliers, his medal index card shows his service number as G/81652. The family is thought to have moved to Stockport by then - perhaps living at 72 Richardson Street, where they were known to be in the early 1920s. It Is not known when Sydney transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment, but it was sometime after arriving in France.
On 1 June 1918, the Battalion started another tour of duty in the trenches north of the French town of Loos. The Battalion's War Diary records that this was a "fairly quiet time". There was, however, to be some excitement on the 3rd. 30 men, under the command of two officers carried out a raid on the enemy positions at Humbug Trench with the intent of gaining intelligence by capturing prisoners who could then be interrogated. The raiders were supported by British artillery, trench mortars and machine guns all of which ensured that the Germans kept their heads down in the protection of their dugouts, allowing the Sussex men to get across No Man's Land undetected. The raid was successful and two privates from the 1st Bavarian Reserve Regiment were brought back. 4 British soldiers had been wounded. However, the raiders returned with two men less than they had started out with. Both were posted as missing, but they were dead. Humbug Alley can been seen in the middle of the trench map.
Sydney is buried at Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, British Extension Section 5 Row D Grave 7. This section was created after the war from graves brought in from the surrounding battlefields. In the next grave is Wilfred Frost, Wilfred was the other soldier killed on the raid, he was from Ince, near Wigan, also age 19.
The Cheshire Roll of Honour would like to thank Brenden Preece for the pictures of Sydney and his headstone.