Harry Sykes (c.1897-1918)

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An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

SYKES, HARRY. Leading Seaman. Palace Z/3594. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. SS Southborough. Son of Leyland and Edith Sykes, 107 Swallow Lane, Golcar. Attended Parkwood United Methodist Church. Was a member of Thorpe Green Working Men's Club. Prior to enlistment, was employed as a weaver by Messrs Smith and Wood and formerly by Messrs Titus Calverley and Sons, of Milnsbridge. Had been in the Merchant Service since 1916. He joined at Devonport and made his first voyage to Archangel after a few weeks training. This proved a very eventful journey because shortly after arriving at their destination a big explosion occurred, destroying a number of vessels, the crews of which had to leave the ships and seek safety ashore. For four days and nights Harry found shelter in a thick wood and at the end of that time was piloted back to his ship by a Russian Officer. Saw much active service, having visited West Africa, Norway, Russia and France and, on the return from his second visit to Archangel, his ship was torpedoed on 24.9.1917. Nothing was heard from him for 14 weeks until his parents received a wire from Aberdeen, stating that their son was one of the survivors. Lost his life at sea on 16.7.1918 when the SS Southborough, on which he was serving as a member of the gun crew, was sunk by an enemy submarine off Scarborough. He was 21 years of age. Has no known grave. Commemorated PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
ROH:- St. John's Church, Golcar; Parkwood Methodist Church.

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