Sunday 13 July 2014

Will Sidney - The Shoeing Smith

We know when Will signed up in 1913 he was a blacksmith.  His rank with the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons, when embodied on 5 August 1914, was that of a Shoeing Smith.

His first posting to France from July 1915 to June 1916 was with the QOYD and the Squadron war diary makes a number of references to works carried out in respect of the stabling and caring for horses.

In January 1917 we know, from Will's war record that he was transferred to the York & Lancaster Regiment as a Private.  From then on there isn't much mention, in any of the records that we have, of Will having any further involvement with horses.

We have a number of photos of Will, showing him in different situations with horses, that we have been unable to date or place.  Based on his war record we could assume that these may have been taken during his time with the QOYD, maybe whilst on this first posting to France, and thought it would be good to include them here, before moving on with his story.  I am sorry that some of them are not of that good a quality.

The picture on the left shows Will with a group of colleagues in front, of what could be, either a stable or workshop.  Will is sitting on the right of the front row.

The second photo, on the right, shows Will on a horse.  We have been unable to identify either where or when either of these photos were taken.

This picture is of Will with two colleagues.  Will is in the middle and could possibly be in the process of shoeing a horse.  This photo has been annotated on the reverse, though this gives no clue as to the date or whereabouts the photo may have been taken.

I'm afraid this last picture is also of quite poor quality.  We have been unable to identify Will in the picture but the note on the reverse reads as follows
"This is a photo of our lines.  We had only just come in after been out all day.  On it you will find me & my horse.  I won't tell you where I am but try & guess & when I come home I will tell you if it's right.  Will."
My next post will cover Will's second posting to France, including some extracts from his personal diaries, which looks to have been shorter than initially intended.

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