Private Sydney George Smallwood


Sydney George Smallwood was born in late 1898 at Lambeth, London, the fourth of eight children of horsekeeper and groom Harry Smallwood and his wife Annie Maria (née Cox). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 90 Mayall Road, Herne Hill, London, with his parents and six of his siblings.

Smallwood enlisted or was called-up in October 1916, serving in a cavalry regiment (No.34155). It appears that he was later posted to the North Irish Horse, embarking for France in November 1917. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st NIH Regiment, which was then serving as corps cavalry to V Corps.

In February-March 1918 the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is probable that this was the time that Smallwood was posted to the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars.

According to the National Roll of the Great War, Smallwood subsequently saw action in offensives at Amiens, Bapaume, Havrincourt, Cambrai, Le Cateau. On 8 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1924 Smallwood was living at 25 Mayall Road and working as a railway guard. On 24 August that year he married Minnie Pretoria Caroline Baker in St Matthew's Church, Brixton.