G/316 Private Sidney Bunn, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Born on 10th August 1885 in Little Gaddesden
Died on 28th June 1956 in Hemel Hempstead
Sidney Bunn was born in Little Gaddesden, the second of the 11 children of Godfrey Goward Bunn and Ellen née Cooling.
In the 1891 Census, the family was shown living at 36 Little Gaddesden; by 1901 they had moved to Home Farm Lodge. Sidney’s father was Coachman to the Hon. Alfred Talbot at Little Gaddesden House.
Sidney’s siblings were:
- Brother: George Edward, who died aged twenty, born in 1884
- Sister: Edith, born in 1887
- Sister: Elsie Emily, born 15th November 1888
- Sister: Ellen or Nellie, born 22nd April 1890
- Brother: Walter Louis Bunn, born 8th September 1892
- Brother: Godfrey Bunn, born 10th April 1894
- Sister: Margaret, born 21st February 1896
- Sister: Louisa or Louise, born 10th November 1898
- Brother: Edward Charles Bunn, born 29th January 1900
- Sister: May, born 3rd July 1902
On 9th December 1889, Sidney Bunn entered Little Gaddesden School as an infant aged 4 years 4 months.
On 12th April 1897 both George Bunn and Sidney Bunn left Little Gaddesden School with Certificates of Proficiency and were able to go to work. Sidney was 11 years 8 months old; his older brother George was 12 or 13. Others who left that day with a Certificate of Proficiency included Edward Hing, Edward Groom and William Johnson.
In the 1901 Census, 15 year old Sidney was working as a Valet at Gorse Side, Berkhamsted Common in the household of Charles Hodgson Miles, a Gentleman of Independent Means.
By 1911, he was working at Mr Austin’s Motor Works and a boarder at 79 St Martin’s Lane, London, W.C.
The Bunn Family in 1901 5
The 1901 Census records most of the rest of Sidney’s family still in Little Gaddesden. Their address is not stated precisely, but is close to Home Farm so is believed to have been Home Farm Lodge where they were resident in 1911. Still at home with Godfrey and Ellen were Sidney’s siblings George, Elsie, Nellie, Walter Bunn, Godfrey Bunn, Margaret, Louise and Edward Bunn. His 15 year old sister Edith was a servant at 3, Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London.
The Bunn Family in 1911 5
In 1911, only Sidney’s mother and youngest siblings Margaret, Louisa, Edward Bunn and May were at Home Farm Lodge, Little Gaddesden on Census night. His father Godfrey and brother Walter Bunn were in London – as were their employers the Talbots. Sidney’s brother George had died in 1904. All his other siblings had left home for work: Edith as a Housemaid in Exning, Newmarket, Elsie, also a housemaid, at Old Abbey, Leiston, Suffolk, Ellen a Domestic Nurse in Berkhamsted and Godfrey Bunn a Stable Helper at Churchill, Hemel Hempstead.
The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment Rough Register of Recruits 1914-1917 shows that Sidney attested on 17th August 1914, less than two weeks after the declaration of war, for a period of 3 years. He served as a Private, Service Number G/316, and was first posted overseas to France on 2nd June 1915. For his War Service, Sidney was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
Sidney Bunn is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. His entry reads Bunn Sidney, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt. He is similarly shown on the Centenary Revision of the Roll. Also listed on the Rolls are his three younger brothers Walter Bunn, Godfrey Bunn and Edward Bunn and his brother in law Charles Short, who had married Sidney’s sister Elsie in 1913.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Returning to Little Gaddesden 9
The 1920 Electoral Registers show Sidney living at Home Farm Lodge, Little Gaddesden with his parents and brothers Godfrey and Walter.
In 1921 Sidney’s parents moved to Great Gaddesden, where his father became Landlord of The Cock and Bottle Inn. From 1921 – 1923, Electoral Register entries show Sidney living there with his parents. Subsequent addresses are unknown but, by September 1939, he was back at The Cock and Bottle, a single man working as a Groom Gardener. His brother Walter Bunn, Licensed Victualler, and sister-in-law Evelyn lived there with their daughters. His sister Margaret Bunn, his sister-in-law Margaret Nellie Bunn, wife of his brother Edward Bunn and his nephew John E Tharby, son of his youngest sister May were also resident.
70 year old Sidney Bunn, a Jobbing Gardener of The Cock and Bottle, Great Gaddesden, died of a cerebral tumour in West Herts Hospital, Hemel Hempstead on 28th June 1956.
3. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
6. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906
Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson