Bryan, Sydney Walter (Left Column next to steps (Front)

Sydney Walter Bryan was born on the 16th December,  1916, but not Registered till the first quarter of 1917, the son of Edward John & Mary Elizabeth Bryan, (nee Massey) who had married in St. Deniol’s Church on the 15th April 1911.    Edward John was a bachelor age 23, and a Brick-maker, his address was Brook Cottage, Ewloe, his father was Isaac Bryan a Labourer.     Edward John’s bride, Mary Elizabeth Massey, was 20 and a Spinster, her address was Pentre, Hawarden and her father was Henry Massey also a Labourer.    Their witnesses were Ernest Newton Bryan (Brother) & Jessie Massey (Wife of Arthur MASSEY, Mary Elizabeth’s brother, who married in 1905)

Mary Elizabeth & Arthur Massey, her one remaining sibling, by the 1911 census, along with her parents Henry & Elizabeth were to suffer shattering bereavements, losing 4 brothers, 2 in 1904 and 2 in 1906, as well as suffering years earlier the death of a an infant Gertrude Ann in 1882.  I have the Parish Registers of their baptisms and their burials if anyone wants to have them, please get in touch with the website. 

1911 census was taken on the 2nd April 1911, so Edward John was still at home.  They married 13 days later.   The census show him living with his family at Brook Cottage, Ewloe.    Head of the household was his father Isaac, 49 and a Fitter’s Labourer in the Iron Works and born in Ewloe.    His mother Sarah was 50 and had been born in Shotton,Flintshire.    They tell us that they had been married for 26 years and 6 children had been born, but sadly 1 had died.    As stated Edward John was still at home and he was 23, a Stageman at the Brick Works, he had been born in Chester.   His brother Ernest Newton, 18 was an Ash Wheeler in the Iron Works, his sister Susanah(sic), 15 was “At Home,” and brother Walter, 14 was an Assistant at the Brick Works. The later three had been born in Ewloe.

Sadness was to come for Edward John and his family, Mary Elizabeth was to die in 1920, she was buried on the 21st July 1920, age 27 years. (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/13A/7).   Her address was given as Chapel Row, Ewloe, Hawarden.   So Sydney was only 3 years old when this tragedy happened.  His brother Edward A. Bryan was age 4.

Edward John had remarried in 1922, I believe to Margaret J. Jones in a Civil Ceremony in Wrexham, but the Certificate would have to be purchased to confirm or deny.   (Wrexham County Borough (Wrexham)WM/091/19).

I also believe that Sydney would have at least on sibling from this union, possibly two.   A sister, Susannah (Susie) who was born on the 19th July 1923 (Mother ‘s maiden name Jones), according to the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939.  There is a closed Record or redacted record of another person, who could have been the brother born in the December quarter of 1928 – Richard Newton Bryan , (Mother ‘s maiden name Jones)( Hawarden Vol. 11b No. 291).

The National Register goes on to tell us that they were living at 1 Aston Hall Lane , Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, Wales and Edward John had been born on the 4th December 1887 and was a Shift Fitter Labourer at the Steel Works.   His new wife of 17 years, Margaret J. (“G” on the Register as was Edward John’s Initial) had been born on the 27th March 1877 and as most married women on this Register who did not have a job, was doing ” Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Sydney W. Bryan ‘s birth date was the 16th December 1916, he was single and a Worker in the Sheet Mills (Heavy Worker).   This is where Susie appears, she is described as “Not Formerly Employed” and single.   Susie was to marry  Edward M. Griffiths in the December quarter of 1943 at St. Deniol’s Church in Hawarden.( Flintshire  Mold)C106/05/E194).

Sydney was to meet and eventually marry Irene Bell in the Highway Methodist Church, Ewloe in the March quarter of 1943 (Flintshire (Mold) A103/02/E11.)    They were to be married only a few months when Sydney was killed in 1943.    He would have had a few days leave perhaps before he went abroad.

However I have no idea when Sydney either enlisted or was conscripted as I can find no documents for him, except the Army Roll of Honour, which doesn’t tell us much, but he is on a Casualty List telling us that he was killed in Action and the Commonwealth War Graves gives a history of what happened which will also tell us that Sydney fell on the first day of conflict:-

Taken from the Commonwealth War Graves – History Information:-

On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the North African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Commonwealth forces made their landings in the south-east corner of the island between Pachina and Syracuse, and the majority of those buried in Syracuse War Cemetery died during those landings or in the early stages of the campaign. Many graves belong to men of the airborne force that attempted landings west of the town on the night of 9-10 July, when gale force winds forced 60 of the 140 gliders used into the sea and blew others wide of their objectives.

I believe that Sydney’s father was to die in the September quarter of 1947 in Chester (Inferred County: Cheshire Volume: 10a, Page:166) age 59 years.  So he lived to suffer another bereavement.

Chester Chronicle 21st August 1943 Page 3 Col. 4


Killed in Action

News has been received by his wife of the death in action in Sicily of Mr. Sidney BRYAN son of Mrs. BRYAN, 1 Aston Hall-lane, Penarlag.    He was a member of Ewloe Methodist Church,    His Commanding Officer describes him in a letter as an excellent soldier, who was well thought of.

I also believe that Irene was to remarry on the 18th July 1946 to Harold Whitehouse in St. Deniol’s Church Hawarden.  Her address then was 65 Mancot Way.

Sydney’s name was put forward by family or friends, but they must not have known about the new WW2 War Memorial as his name was added later (Left Column next to steps (Front) alongside William ELLSUM) and is not on the Plaques at the front.   It would have been after his father died and perhaps there was no family in the area, but in any case he was loved and missed and he is now remembered in Perpertuity.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

Back to top