[Skip to content]

Person Details
Kensworth Bedfordshire
Sidney was born in 1892 in Kensworth, Bedforshire and was the son of Charles Keys an agricultural labourer and Emma Keys of Kensworth. His father Charles was born in 1850 and his mother Emma was born in 1849 both born at Kensworth. They later married and had the following children ,Fred b1879, Nellie b 1885, Minnie b1886 and Sidney b1892, all being born in Kenworth. In 1894 the death of his father Charles is recorded in the Luton Registration District, he was aged 44 years. By the 1901 census Emma now a widow is living at The Lynch, Kensworth, and is shown as a washerwoman aged 52 yrs and is living with her children , Nellie, 16 yrs , Minnie 13 yrs and Sidney 9 yrs. His mother appears to have remarried in 1906 and become Mrs Dean before dying herself in 1913 aged 64 years of age, in Hemel Hempstead. From about 1910 when he was about 18 years of age he was living with his married sister and brother in law in Huthwaite and in the 1911 census he is shown lodging in Ashfield Street, Huthwaite, he is 19 years of age and a barman and is lodging with Alfred Hughes 31 yrs a coal miner and his wife Nellie Hughes 26 yrs and their two children Sydney Hughes 4 yrs and Maurice Hughes 3 yrs. .
He was a barman.
16 Sep 1917
834813 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Sydney enlisted in February 1916 in Derby , he gave his place of birth as Kensworth and his residence as Huthwaite. He served with the 11th battalion Sherwood Foresters and was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. It was whilst with his battalion on the Western Front that on 15/16th September 1917 he was killed by shell fire, his body was buried where he fell however he has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial on the Somme.
Notts Free Press – 5th October 1917:- Huthwaite Hero's Death Military Medallist killed in Action. After being the recipient of the military Medal as recently as June last, the news of his death in action has come as a great blow to the many friends of private S. Keys, 35438. B Company, 11th Sherwood Foresters, a well-known Huthwaite figure. He lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, of Ashfield Street, Huthwaite, by whom the following letters have been received last Friday and Monday respectively: Dear Mrs. Hughes,- It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of Private S. Keys. He was in my platoon and was killed in the front line by shell fire on the 15th. His death was instantaneous and he suffered no pain. During the short period I knew him I always found him a good soldier, who did his duty well. He was buried next day, and I have lost a good man whose place will be very difficult to fill. I wish to express my sympathy with you and your family in this sad bereavement. These are all the details I can give you. - J. Greville, 2nd. Lieut. "It is with deep sympathy that I write to tell you that your brother, Private S. Keys, 35438, was killed in action on September 16th. and was buried by his battalion near where he fell. The place will be sent to you. He has died a hero, and I know that he is mourned by many pals. But "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." R.I.P. May I again offer to you and all his folk at home my sincere sympathy in your great bereavement.- Yours faithfully, J.K. Jones, (Chaplain C.E.)." Notices also published by the Mansfield Recorder dated 5th October 1917 Private Keys was born at Kensworth, near Luton, and was 26 years old. He came to Huthwaite eight years ago and lived (as stated) with his married sister. He joined up in February, 1916, and being in a low medical class he was in England ten months, and was then put in class A. Three months later he was sent to France. In June he was awarded the Military Medal for remaining at his post, though wounded, and setting a good example to his comrades. His pre-war employment was as a barman, and by reason of his quiet unassuming disposition he had many friends, and the step-brother (Corporal W. Dean), of the Bedfords, has won the D.C.M., but lost his left arm and has had twelve months in hospitals.
Remembered on