The census of 1901 records Sydney Crocombe living with his family at 49 New Street, Mold. Head of the household was Thomas 30, an Oil Salesman who had been born in Saltney. His wife, Ellen Elizabeth was 27. She had been born in Saughall near Chester. Their listed children were Thomas George 8, William 7, Sidney 4 and Gladys 1. They had all been born in Saltney – according to this census.
Ten years later finds the family still at the same address. Thomas was then 40 and still an Oil Salesman. His wife of 20 years, Ellen Elizabeth was 37. She had given biirth to 8 children all of whom were still living. Those at home were William 17 an oil salesman and wagon boy, Gladys12 and Sarah Ellen 9 who were both at school and Emily 4 and James Arthur 1. Sydney was 14 and he was a greaser at the Rolling Mill at the tin plate works. The older children had been born in Saltney and the 4 younger, in Mold.
Sydney enlisted and signed his Territorial Force Attestation Form on 19th November 1914 in Flint. His Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk They show us that he was assigned to the Reserve Royal Welsh Fusiliers with the regimental number 2533. (This was later changed to 240807). He was 18 years and 9 months old and it was noted he was a Tin Plate Worker and his address was 13 Gladstone St Mold.
He spent 10 days in The Welsh Div Territorial Force Hospital in Northampton in 1915, suffering from scabies.
A Conduct Sheet details a couple of Sydney’s transgressions . On the 1st January 1917 at Dulwich he refused to take an order when detailed for guard. On the 4th June 1917 at Henham Park he overstayed his pass by 1 day, 2 hours and 45 minutes. He was confined to barracks for 3 days for each of these (C B) and for the latter offence he lost 2 days pay as well. Then on the bottom of the form we see the poignant ‘killed in Action, 2 9.17
He wasn’t posted until 10th June 1917 when he set sail from Southampton arriving in the French town of Rouen on the 11th June. He was posted to the 14th Bn RWF on the 30th June 1917. He was killed in action on 2nd September 1917 in Flanders, near Ypres in The Battle of Passchendaele. His total service in the army came to 2 years and 288 days.
He has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Flanders.
There is correspondence in the records between the army and his parents, regarding the receipt of a Memorial scroll, King’s message, Memorial plaque (“Death Penny”), his personal effects and medals.
The Army requested a Living Relatives form to be completed in 1919. This listed the family members still living, their ages and their addresses. In fact they were all living at 62 New Street Mold. They were
Parents Thomas and Elizabeth Crocombe
Full blood brothers William 26 and James Arthur 10.
Full blood sisters Gladys 20, Sarah Ellen 1, Ethel May 15 and Emily 12
The form also lists paternal grandparents George and Sarah Crocombe of 28 Glynne St, Saltney.