Sergeant Arthur Frederick Saunders - VC - The Suffolk Regiment

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Sidney James Day

He was 26 years old, and a Corporal in the 11th Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 26th August 1917,  east of Hargicourt, France, Corporal Day was in command of a bombing section detailed to clear a maze of trenches still held by the enemy. This he did, killing two machine gunners and taking four prisoners. On reaching a point where the trench had been levelled he went alone and bombed his way through to the left in order to gain touch with the neighbouring troops. Immediately on his return to his section a stick bomb fell into the trench occupied by two officers (Including Lieut. F.Maxwell-Lawford who was badly wounded) and three other ranks. Corporal Day seized the bomb and threw it over the trench, where it immediately exploded. This prompt action saved the lives of those in the trench. He afterwards completed the clearing of the trench and established himself in an advanced position, remaining for sixty six hours at his post, which came under intense hostile shell, grenade and rifle fire. Throughout the whole operations his conduct was an inspirational to all."

Sydney James Day was born on 3rd July 1891 at 4 St Ann's Lane, St Julian, Norwich, a property that was demolished in the 1930s. Day came from very humble origins and had four sisters called Ethel, Rosa, Edith, Alice and one other brother named Harry. Three other children died when they were very young. His father, William Day was a storekeeper at the local brewery and Sydney's mother was called Elizabeth.  Sidney Day is buried in the Milton Cemetery in Portsmouth having died in 1959.

 

Corporal Sidney James Day V.C.       11th Battalion  The Suffolk Regiment

Born Norwich 3rd July 1891. Died: Portsmouth 17th July 1959



The official citation from the London Gazette of October 17, 1917

"No. 15092 Cpl. Sidney James Day, Suffolk Regiment (Norwich). For most conspicuous bravery. Cpl. Day was in command of a bombing section detailed to clear a maze of trenches still held by the enemy. This he did, killing two machine gunners and taking four prisoners. On reaching a point where the trench had been levelled he went alone and bombed his way through to the left in order to gain touch with the neighbouring troops. Immediately on his return to his section a stick-bomb fell into the trench occupied by two officers (one badly wounded) and three other ranks. Cpl. Day seized the bomb and threw it over the trench, where it immediately exploded. This prompt action saved the lives of those in the trench. He afterwards completed the clearing of the trench and established himself in an advanced position, remaining for sixty-six hours at his post, which came under intense hostile shell, grenade, and rifle fire. Throughout the whole operations his conduct was an inspiration to all."

Location of Grave:
Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth. Plot R. Row 11. Grave 6.