Stebbing, Sydney Reginald. Died 4th May 1915

Sydney Reginald Stebbing was born in Springfield Terrace Coventry[1] and his birth was registered on 3 October 1893. He was baptised on 24 Oct 1893 in Coventry, St Mark.

In 1901, aged 7, Sydney lived at 16 Newbold Road Rugby with his father Edwin Robert Stebbing, aged 54 (born 1847), a retired Army Bandmaster (1st Warwickshire Regiment and in 1911 Bandmaster at Rugby School ) and mother, Annabella Rebecca Armstrong, aged 46, along with his sibling Percy K Stebbing aged 11.   Also in the house were visitors Elizabeth E Stebbing , sister, who was single and aged 27, Benjamin C Stebbing, brother, aged 20, who was a Bandsman in the 2nd Devon Regiment and born in Aden in 1881 , and Marion L Poole, his married sister, who was 25, along with her husband William Poole aged 29, a Bank Clerk, and Horace Pears aged 23 who was a Solicitors Cashier.

In 1911, aged 17, Sydney was a boarder living at 96 Broomfield Road, Earlsdon, Coventry working as a Milling Machine Minder in the Motor Cycle trade (likely to have been Rudge Works[2]), with George Stebbing aged 29 also an engineer in the same trade, Nellie his wife aged 25, and Percival Stebbing aged 2 months. Benjamin C Stebbing, Sydney’s brother, was at this time married and living in Nottingham and was a policeman.

Sydney Stebbing enlisted in November 1914 in the 3rd Battery of the Motor Machine Gun Service as a Gunner and his regimental number was 181.   The MMGS consisted of motor cycle mounted machine gun batteries and was administered by the Royal Field Artillery. It was later called the Machine Gun Corps (Motors).

Sydney Reginald Stebbing died in action at Zonnebeke and was buried in Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery south east of Dunkirk.

The CCWG citation states

In Memory of Gunner S R Stebbing 181, 3rd Bty., Machine Gun Corps (Motors) who died on 04 May 1915 Age 21 Remembered with Honour. Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
Grave Reference: Plot II. Row D. Grave 9.

A gravestone to Sydney and his parents can be found in Clifton Road Cemetery.   Plot number J457:

In loving memory of Gunner SYDNEY REGINALD MMGS RFA youngest son of EDWIN ROBERT and ANABELLA REBECCA STEBBING who died in France of wounds received in action at Zonnebeke on 4th May 1915 aged 21 years & 7 months. “”Nobly he answered his country’s call.”” also of EDWIN ROBERT STEBBING his beloved father who died 28th July 1933 aged 86 years. “”At rest.”” Also ANABELLA REBECCA beloved wife of EDWIN ROBERT STEBBING died May 21st 1938 aged 84. “”Re-united.””

After Sydney’s death probate was granted to his father on 21 October 1915, in the amount of £103 11s 7d.

[1] City of Coventry Roll of the Fallen: The Great War 1914-1918 written by Charles Nowell

[2] Taken from



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