Sidney or Sydney was born in Wolverhampton in 1888. He enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment in March 1907 (number 10430), when his trade was given as tailor. However, he was charged with receiving stolen goods, and sent to prison in May 1907, and was discharged due to misconduct. However, his service records indicate that he tried to re-enlist under no fewer than three different aliases:
- Number 8571 William Dunn in the Cheshire Regiment 25 July 1907. Discharged on 28 October 1907 for “Ignominy”
- Number 8656 Sidney McDonald in the Leicestershire Regiment 17 March 1909. Discharged on 18 August 1909 for “Ignominy”
- Number 9986 Denis Learey in the West Riding Regiment 24 August 1910. Discharged on 25 October 1910 for “Ignominy”.
Sidney married Mary Margaret Merrifield in Bristol in 1914, and they had a son, Sidney R., in Braintree in 1916. On 2 September 1914 he enlisted with the Gloucestershire Regiment (number 1368), when his trade was given as groom. However, he was discharged on 29 September 1914. He later enlisted as a Sapper in the 3rd/1st (South Midland) Field Company of the Royal Engineers (number 2929), but was killed in action on 23 October 1916. He is buried at the Laventie Military Cemetery in La Gorgue, France.