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Sidney Ainsworth was born in Preston in 1893 and was the son of William Park Ainsworth and Sarah Jackson. Sidney`s parents were married on 11 February, 1888 in Christchurch, Preston. They had another three sons, the eldest was Ernest born in 1889, then William Jackson born in 1890 and finally they had Albert born in 1895 but sadly he died the same year.

Sidney`s father William Park Ainsworth was an engine driver when he married Sarah Jackson in 1888. However, not long after the marriage he went into the business of manufacturing mattresses and bedding working from premises in central Preston.

A local directory dated 1907 shows him working out of 24 Union Street while his family home was at 11 Osborne Street in Preston.

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In 1911 William and Sarah had moved with Sidney and his two brothers to 18 Balderstone Road in Preston. William was still a mattress and bedding manufacturer. The eldest son Ernest was an assistant to a Civil Engineer and William Jackson was a Clerk to an Engineer both being employed by Preston Corporation. Sidney had a job as a booking clerk on the Lancs and Yorks Railway at Preston Station.

Before Sidney enlisted he changed his job and was working in Mr.James Barron`s office on Preston Docks. James Barron was a Civil Engineer and General Superintendent for the Ribble Navigation & Dock Corporation of Preston. Both of Sidney`s brothers were working for a Civil Engineer in 1911 so it is possible Sidney joined them and the brothers were all working together.

Sidney enlisted on the 7 September, 1914 at Preston and was allocated the service number 13179 and posted to the 7th Battalion “D” Company (Preston Pals). He was just short of 5`6” tall and weighed 121lbs, he had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light hair. The Medical Officer noted that Sidney had a small scar in the small of his back.

On the 6th June, 1915 Sidney was awarded 3 days confined to barracks for being late on church parade.

Sidney sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne with the 7th Battalion on the 17 July, 1915. The strength of the 7th Battalion at this time was 30 Officers and 900 other ranks and the Battalion was in the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division.

On the 31 May, 1916 Sidney reported sick to a Field Ambulance suffering from impetigo, he re-joined his Battalion on 11th June. Only a couple of weeks later on the 30th June he was evacuated to a Field Ambulance again this time with influenza and he re-joined the 7th Battalion 10 days later on the 10th June.

During the first ten days of fighting on the Somme in July 1916 the 7th Battalion lost 7 Officers and 164 other ranks.

Sidney was reported wounded and missing on 23 July, 1916, his parents put the following article in the local paper not long afterwards in the hope that he would still be found. Sadly it was not to be and for official purposes the Authorities later confirmed his death as the 23rd July.

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None of Sidney`s personal effects were returned to his parents and family in Preston. He left a will amounting to £56 12s 3d to be administered by his father William who was by now working as a clerk in a Munitions Factory.

Sidney was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and as his body was never found his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

Sidney`s father William Park Ainsworth died on 6 January, 1920 and he was buried in St. Mary`s Church Graveyard in Penwortham near Preston. His mother died in 1930 and she is buried with her husband. Sidney has also been remembered on his parent’s gravestone.

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The inscription reads: – “Also Sidney son of the above Lance Corporal 7th Batt L.N.L. Regt missing and presumed killed in the Battle of the Somme 23rd July, 1916 aged 22 years “He giveth his beloved sleep”

Author`s note: Both the newspaper article and the inscription on the gravestone refer to Sidney as Lance Corporal. The CWGC and his Medal Index Card both record him as being Private Sidney Ainsworth. It is possible he was made an acting Lance Corporal after the 7th Battalion received so many casualties in early July but never confirmed officially due to his death later that month.

Rank: Private
Service No: 13149
Date of Death: 23/07/1916
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “D” Coy. 7th Bn.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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2 Responses to 13149 PTE. S. AINSWORTH. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Angela Ainsworth says:

    I came across this whilst researching my father inlays family and was interested as his surname is Ainsworth and he was born in Yorkshire in 1915 before the family moved to Lincolnshire, I wonder if there is any connection and anyway to find things out. Dad was in the Army also, he was in the Sherwood Foresters. Thank you for the feature.

  2. Ruth Gibson says:

    I found this whilst researching my family tree. Sidney was my grandmas cousin ,she was Edith Ainsworth and her father Robert Carr Ainsworth was William Parks brother.They also lived in Preston. Ediths youngest brother William was also in the Preston Pals but he came home .Thank you for this article.

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