Private 645870 Sidney George Wheelwright

29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Vancouver Regiment)

Died on Monday, 9th April 1917 aged 18

Personal Information:

Harry Rattle was born on 16th April 1899 at Forest Hill Kent, the fifth son of Henry Wheelwright (1855-) and Elizabeth Maria Reffell (1863-1949). He had two brothers, three step-brothers, four sisters and one step-sister.
The family emigrated around 1910 to Vancouver Canada and in 1916 were living at 1056 Grabville Street, Vancouver.
Attestation: 22/2/1916 Vancouver.

The 29th Battalion was also known as ‘Tobin’s Tigers’, and was authorized on 7th November 1914 and embarked for the UK on 20th May 1915. It disembarked in France on 17th September 1915, where it fought as part of the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 30th August 1920.

Sidney actually sailed from Canada on the SS Olympic which left Halifax on 14th November 1916 and arrived in the UK at Liverpool on 20th November. By the next January he was fighting in France.

It would appear that Sidney Wheelwright deliberately lied about his age in order to join up, as on the Canadian Archives website his attestation shows that he stated that he was two years older than he actually was.

III. E. 10 Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus, Somme

Thelus is a village about 6.5 kilometres north of Arras, there are 537 casualties from the First World War buried here.