Contributed by: Andrew Sheardown, on 2008-11-28
|Year of Birth||1895|
|Year of Death||1916|
|Regiment||Royal Lincolnshire Regiment|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Scotter, Lincolnshire|
The 1st Lincolnshire's became part of the 62nd Infantry Brigade, 21st Division. This brigade was heavily involved in the Battle of the Somme and on 1st July 1916 were attacking just north of Fricourt.
Sidney's battalion were held in reserve at Meaulte, near Albert, during the early hours of that day. Simpson's regimental history says:-
'The battalion, detailed to carry S.A.A. Mills grenades and Stokes mortar bombs, left the billets at Meaulte at 8am, and moved to Bon Accord and the Mareschail Streets, where the loads were picked up. At 1.30pm the carrying parties began to cross No Man's Land to the captured German front line, whence they proceeded to a dump immediately north of the eastern end of Patch Alley on the sunken road. Having dumped their loads, companies returned to the old German front line (Sausage Trench) which they consolidated. This was very difficult, for the terrific effect of the British bombardment was evident in the shapeless masses of earth which had once been a trench. Moreover, hostile machine-gun and artillery fire swept the position....'
Private Sidney Johnson was killed that day.
His name is one of more than 72,000 listed on the Thiepval memorial in France for those with no known grave. He is also remembered on the North Somercotes War Memorial alongside his uncle, Regimental Sergeant Major Herbert Laking M.M.
On 21st July 1916 the 'Gainsborough News' reported:-
'News is to hand that Pte. Sidney Johnson, of North Somercotes, has been killed in action. For some five to six years previous to his joining the colours Pte. Johnson was in business in Scotter. His quiet, courteous manner had the respect of all.'