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Sidney was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, the son of Arthur and Harriett Shinton. In 1901 and in 1911, they were living at 18 Wanderers Avenue, Wolverhampton, along with Sidney’s siblings Arthur Ernest, Frank Stanley, Lilian Blanche, Claude Samuel and Evelyn May. Sidney was a clerk for a sheet steel works.

On 3 September 1914, Sidney enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (first number 2755 then 240485). In the course of his service in France, he was promoted to Colonel in February 1915 and then to Sergeant in March 1916. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, as announced in the London Gazette on 1 January 1918. He was demobilised on 3 March 1919.

Sidney married Kathleen Matthews in Wolverhampton in 1919. The couple had three children – Doreen, Roy A. and Marcia – between 1920 and 1928. Sidney died at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton on 29 August 1966, leaving effects to the value of £2350.