REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH No. 47 COMMEMORATES SERGEANT OBSERVER SYDNEY EDWARD LEWIS (HOSTEL 1911-1916) WHO DIED OF WOUNDS 13TH AUGUST 1918.
Sydney Edward Lewis from Port Talbot was a popular sportsman at school. His early sporting achievements were modest, but he in the autumn of 1914 he is said to have “played rugger with the judgement and skill of a veteran”.
In the autumn of 1915 Sydney won his Colours, playing centre three-quarter in one of the fastest and best attacking lines the School had ever seen. He also played fives, golf, hockey and cricket. He played in the hockey and cricket XIs alongside Euan Arnott, Trevor Akrill Jones and David Cuthbert Thomas, and in the XV with David John Thomas, all of whom would be killed in action before the age of 20.
Sydney left school in July 1916 and immediately joined the Royal Flying Corps as a Cadet, where he found “a vocation well suitable to his alert and agile characteristics”. He joined 55 squadron which had been formed on 27th April 1916. 55 squadron moved to France in March 1917 and immediately began reconnaissance and strategic bombing raids behind the lines.
In August 1918 55 squadron was hit hard in terms of casualties: seven pilots and observers went missing, one pilot and one observer were killed, one pilot and two observers were wounded, and two observers died of wounds. One of these was the by now extremely experienced sergeant observer Sydney Lewis. His aircraft had been hit over German lines and he was wounded. Despite aid back at base, Sydney died of the wounds on 13th August 1918.
Sergeant Observer Sydney Edward Lewis is buried at Charmes Military Cemetery, Essegney, and is remembered on the Christ College War Memorial. The Breconian records that “His personal qualities also made him a most jolly and likeable companion, whom many were glad to call their friend”.
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