Sidney Whitlam's Medals - Sheffield

1915 Trio and MSM - 6450 Acting WO Sidney Whitlam - 13th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers .

In December 2016 I received this mail from a reader of the site

"I just thought I would give you details of a chap whose medals I have recently obtained . I will send you a more detailed account later once I have fully researched him .

1915 Trio and MSM - 6450 Acting WO Sidney Whitlam - 13th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers .

If you have anything on him I would be very grateful. I am particularly looking for a photograph .

I checked on Ancestry and found these brief details

Sidney Whitlam Born 19 Dec 1894
Military 1914-1918 Northumberland Fusiliers 6450; sergeant/acting regimental quartermaster sergeant
Marriage 26 April 1926 St Augustus, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England Yorkshire Marriages; Sidney is a cashier; his father is a manager; witnesses Nathan Adams and George Whittam
Kate Adams (18931976)
Birth of Son Colin John Whitlam(19282002) 7 July 1928 Thanet, Kent, England
Birth of Daughter Kathleen Mary Whitlam(19292002) 2 August 1929 Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire West Riding, England
Residence 1939 99 High Storrs Road , Sheffield C.B., Yorkshire (West Riding), England wholesale distributor of electrical goods; with wife and sister-in-law
Death 1962

When I am researching an article I am always uneasy about using third party information. Experience has shown that errors can easily be made.

But what really puzzled me about  that sole entry for Sidney was that there was no information on Sidney prior to 1914 apart from a date of birth and a father named George (possibly from 1926 Marriage certificate) There was no entry in either the 1901 and 1911 census which was unusual. 

I had a look on the excellent Sheffield Indexers site and I saw that there were 16 Whitlam burials, 4 of which were in Sheffield's Burngreave cemetery. One grave stood out as it contained a George Whitham. (Sidney's father?)

DYSON, Luciana (Spinster, age 60). Died at 4 Beech Rd; Buried on February 28, 1917 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 117, Section Z1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister E Lloyd Rees, Removed from Sheffield 
WHITHAM, George (Clerk, age 72). Died at City General Hospital; Buried on May 13, 1938 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 117, Section Z1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister: H C Mason: Removed from Sheffield 
WHITLAM, Claude (Private 16484, 2/1 East Riding Yeomanry, age 18). Died at H M S Hampshire; Buried on December 8, 1920 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 117, Section Z1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Drowned: Officiating Minister, H R Everson: Removed from Sheffield Parish.
WHITLAM, Elizth (Wife of Hy Whitlam, age 54).Died at 75 Wicker; Buried on June 13, 1883 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 117, Section Z1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: S purchased Apr 17/84.
WHITLAM, Henry (shoemaker, age 59). Died at 75 Wicker; Buried on February 2, 1891 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 117, Section Z1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: 35037.

The entry for Claude was very interesting with the "Kitchener" connection - and so I put Claude in the 1911 Census and this is the entry. The surnames are all over the place regarding the spelling of the surname as I suspected

Claude Whitlam
[Claude Whitham] 
[Claude Whittam] 
Age in 1911: 11 Estimated birth year: abt 1900
Relation to Head: Son Gender: Male
Birth Place: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Civil Parish: Ecclesall County/Island: Yorkshire-West Riding Country: England
Street address: 166 South View Road Sheffield
Occupation: School
Registration district: Ecclesall Bierlow Registration District Number: 509 Sub-registration district: Sharrow ED, institution, or vessel: 17 Piece: 27828
Household Members: 
Name Age
George Whittam 44
Edith Mary Williamson Whittam 40
Sydney Lanson Buckinshaw 16
Claude Whitlam 11
Dennis Whitlam 8
Gladys Whitlam 4

And Sydney Lanson Buckinshaw is no other than our Sidney Whitlam. The middle name "Lanson" is I believe a transcription error. It should be "Lawson". The 1901 Census confirms the details. 



I checked Claude Whitlam in the Soldiers of the Great War database and the entry is

Name: Claude Whitlam
Residence: Petsmoor, Sheffield (sic Pitsmoor)
Death Date: 10 Oct 1918
Death Place: At Sea
Enlistment Place: Pontefract, Yorks
Rank: Private
Regiment: Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line
Battalion: East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry
Regimental Number: 16484
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: At Sea

But the HMS Hampshire sank in 1916. The burial record is incorrect and so there is no "Kitchener" connection . Claude died over two years after the sinking of the HMS Hampshire And what is even stranger is that he was buried two years after his death in October 1918. I the checked the BMD columns in the local press and found this entry in the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated Saturday 19th October 1918

  

Claude was one of hundreds of fatalities who lost their lives when the R.M.S Leinster was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the Irish Sea on Thursay 10th October 1918

 

Claude was Sidney's half brother. Sometime between the census in 1911 and joining the army in 1914 Sidney adopted the surname of his stepfather Whitlam. Sidney's parents married in January 1894 - Marriage  Sheffield, Yorkshire West Riding, England England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 Name Sydney Dickens Burkinshaw Name: Edith Mary W Dyson Date of Reg: Jan-Feb-Mar 1894 Registration District: Sheffield Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Volume Number: 9c Page Number: 643

Sidney was born in October 1894 and christened Sidney Lawson Burkinshaw (Sheffield, Yorkshire West Riding, England) but in the September quarter of the following year Sidney's father died - Death Sep 1895 Sheffield, Yorkshire West Riding, England England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 Name: Sydney Dickens Burkinshaw Estimated Birth Year: abt 1870 Date of Reg: Jul-Aug-Sep 1895 Age at Death: 25 Reg District: Sheffield Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Volume: 9 Pg: 322

I am unsure of how Sydney died but his burila record states that he died in the General Infirmary. He had been married just over 18 months

Burkinshaw, Sydney Dickens (Silver smith, age 25).
Died at General Infirmary; Buried on August 29, 1895 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 16599, Section DD of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

It was in July 1897 that Edith re-married - Jul 1897 Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 Name: Edith Mary W Burkinshaw Name George Whitlam Date of Reg: Jul-Aug-Sep 1897 Registration District: Ecclesall Bierlow Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Volume Number: 9c Page Number: 482

George and Edith had three more children

Birth of Son Claude Whitlam(1899) Oct 1899 Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire West Riding, United Kingdom
1901 40 Kearsley Rd, Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire, England
Here are George Whitlam 34 - Sharebrokers Clerk, Edith M 30, Claude Whitlam 1 & Sydney Burkinshaw 6 (Edith's son). Also Edith's sister Luciena Dyson s 44Birth of Son Dennis Whitlam(1902) Oct 1902 Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire West Riding, United Kingdom
Birth of Daughter Gladys Whitlam(19061986) 26 Dec 1906 Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire West Riding, United Kingdom
Residence - 02 Apr 1911 166 South View Road, Ecclesall, Yorkshire-West Riding, England
Here are George Whitlam 44 - Stockbrokers Clerk, Edith Mary Williamson 40 (m 13 years with 4 children all living), Sydney Burkinshaw 16 - Stockbrokers Clerk, Claude 11, Dennis 8 & Gladys 4 Whitlam
.

Very little is known about Sidney after 1929 - The National Register 1939 states

Residence 1939 99 High Storrs Road , Sheffield C.B., Yorkshire (West Riding), England wholesale distributor of electrical goods; with wife and sister-in-law

There are indications that Sidney moved to Cheshire prior to his death in 1962 - 63 but that needs further research.

Sources

RMS Leinster website

UK Census

Free BMD

Sheffield Indexers

Sheffield Telegraph and Star dated Sat 19th October 1918  

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This page was last updated on 09/12/16 15:07