Private Sidney Robert Cawley 5999664, 1st Bn. Essex Regiment

1900 Jun 5. Born Broomfield, Essex, the second son and one of eight children of Alfred Cornelius James Cawley and Mary Ann A. Sheail. Sidney’s father had been born in Dublin, Ireland c1871; his mother c1872 in Chelmsford. They had married in 1893.

Sidney’s siblings (all Chelmsford-born) were Maud Frances Cawley (born in 1894), Ernest Frederick Cawley (born in 1896, died in 1942), Jack Alfred Cawley (born on 8th February 1898, died in September 1984), Herbert Francis J. Cawley (born in 1900, died in 1962), Emma Alice Cawley (born in 1903), Frederick Albert Cawley (born on 15th January 1906, died in October 1984), and Claude Montague Cawley (born on 5th October 1910, died in February 1984).

1901 census living at 10, Broomfield Road Compasses Row, Chelmsford. Sidney was living with his parents, three siblings and an uncle and aunt, his father was a house painter.

Attended the Victoria School in Chelmsford.

1911 census living at 10 Compasses Row Broomfield Road Chelmsford.. His father was a machine charge hand at the Chelmsford ball-bearings manufacturer Hoffmann’s.

1918 register of electors listed Sidney at 10 Compasses Row.

1919 Mar 5. Enlisted Sheringham, Norfolk. His trade is given as "iron erector". His next of kin given as mother, Mrs Cawley, 10 Compass Row, Broomfield Rd, Chelmsford, Essex. He is also gven has having been in 52 (grad) Batallion, Royal Sussex TR

1921 Mar 20 Died of wounds following the Crossbarry Ambush . His father, an Iron and Steel erector from Chelmsford Essex identified the body. S R Cawley was unmarried and was gravely wounded by enemy fire while on patrol duty in the Crossbarry area of County Cork when his patrol came under fire form a party of about twenty Rebels, he was treated for his wounds at the scene but died the next morning in Hospital. His wounds are recorded as "gun shot wound to abdomen, fractured femur"

On 23rd March 1921 the Essex Chronicle reported: A Chelmsford Victim. Mr. A. J. Cawley, of Compasses Row, Broomfield Road, received intimation on Saturday morning that his second son, Pte., Stanley Robert Cawley, of ‘D’ Co., 1st Essex Regt., had been dangerously wounded by the rebels, and that he had been removed to the Military Hospital at Cork. This was followed by a letter from the Matron at the Hospital to Mrs. Cawley, saying that everything possible was being done for the lad. Mr. Cawley at once proceeded to Cork, only to find on reaching the Hospital that his son had succumbed to his injuries. Pte. Cawley, who was 20 years of age, joined the 1st Essex Regt. in June 1918, and had been stationed in Ireland for about two years. The coffin containing the body arrived at Chelmsford station on Wednesday, in charge of a military escort, and the funeral will take place tomorrow (Saturday) with military honours.

1921 Mar 26. Buried in Chelmsford Cemetery with full military honours

On 1st April 1921 the Essex Chronicle reported upon his funeral:

“The body was brought from Cork in charge of a military escort, and when the hour for the funeral arrived crowds of people stood reverently along the route of the cortege from Broomfield Road to Writtle Road. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, upon which were placed the deceased’s military hat and belt and some beautiful floral tributes. An escort with firing party and a bugler sent by the Essex Regiment from Warley, under Lieut. Andrews. Behind the mourning coaches walked Mr. D. Nightingirl (Comrades of the Great War), Cr, W, J, Nevard (N.F.D.S.S.) and other members of those clubs. the burial service was taken by the Rev, G. Colley, and at the close three volleys were fired over the grave and the ‘Last Post’ was sounded.

The mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Cawley, parents; Maud, Ernest. Jack, Emma, and Fred, brothers and sisters;Mrs. Jack Cawley, sister-in-law; Mr. G. Barrett, brother in law; Messrs. Bert Cawley, Herbert Cawley, Henry Cawley, H. Moul, Joe Ginn. and George Ginn, uncles; Mrs. F. Hall, Mrs. Bert Cawley, Mrs. Moul, Mrs. Sharper, aunts; Messrs. Basil Ketley and S. Rainbird, friends.

Crossbarry Ambush