Sydney Charles Noble is typical of the men that were posted to the 2/6th Battalion after their decimation on the 21st March 1918.
Sydney was 28 and a resident of London. He was a newspaper printer at the ‘Times’.
He attested in March 1916 and was mobilised the following year and posted to the 43rd Training Reserve Battalion.
After 8 months training he was transferred to the 3rd Battalion Bedford Regiment at Felixstowe in November 1917.
Sydney arrived in France in March 1918 and was posted to L Infantry Base Depot.
He was transferred to the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on the 30th March 1918 and joined C Company ‘in the field’ on 3rd April 1918.
He fought with the 2/6th Battalion during the Battle for Kemmel Hill (14-20 April) were the re-formed 59thDivision suffered terrible casualties; 2363 Officers and men killed, wounded of missing.
Sidney was posted to K Infantry base on 7th May when the 2/6th Battalion was reduced to Cadre and transferred to the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals) on the 5th July along with 52 other men from the 2/6th.
He was gassed on the 25th August 1918 and admitted to 9th General Hospital Rouen before being transferred to England on HMS St Patrick.
“Whilst this action coast the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers few casualties, two days later [25th August] the still inexperienced men were subjected to a devastatingly heavy mustard-gas shelling, which left 15 Officers and 429 men as casualties”
[Salford Pals by Michael Steadman]
Sydney spent 56 days in the Military Hospital at Parkhust and 72 days in the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester.
He was finally discharged from Hospital in March 1918.