Private Sidney Arthur Fillery
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for this research.
Family History of Sidney Arthur Fillery
Sidney/Sydney Arthur Fillery was born on the 6th of November 1894 in Dorking Surrey and he was baptised on the 11 January 1895 in Dorking Surrey at St. Martin’s Church.
At the time of baptism the young family lived at 26 Mill Lane, Dorking, Surrey and Sidney’s father Percy worked as a house painter.
Sidney’s mother’s name was Harriet Fillery nee Parker and his father’s name was Percy Fillery.
Harriet was born in the first quarter of 1873 in Dorking and she was baptized on the 25th of April 1873 at Dorking’s St. Martins Church. Her parents were called William and Emma Parker. Harriet’s father was a labourer and the family lived at Black Horse Yard in Dorking.
Percy Fillery was born in the fourth quarter of 1872 in Dorking Surrey and he was baptized on the 8th of December 1872 in Dorking Surrey. Percy’s parents were called Isaac and Jane Fillery and both were also born in Dorking. Percy’s father was a brick layer.
Harriet and Percy married on the 15th of July 1894 at St. Martin’s Church in Dorking. At the time of marriage Percy lived at 24 Mill Lane Dorking and Harriet at 16 High Street Cottages, Dorking. The marriage was solemnized after banns. Harriet was already pregnant at the time of marriage.
Sidney had three sisters: Edith Mary Fillery born on the 20th of February 1896 in Dorking Surrey, Beatrice Alice Fillery born on the 24th of April 1897 in Dorking Surrey and Winifred Kate Fillery born in the third quarter of 1900 in Dorking Surrey.
An admission book of Dorking British School reads that Sidney was admitted on the 21th of March 1898. According to the book, in 1898 Sidney’s family lived at 18 Church Gardens Dorking.
Dorking British School admission book for the year of 1901 includes, apart from Sidney, also his sister Edith. Children were re-admitted to the school on the 6th of May 1901. According to the book they previously attended a small school in Falkland Road for infants. The family lived at 38, Orchard Road, Dorking. Sidney left Dorking British School on the 1st of August 1902 and was transferred to St Martin’s Church of England School in Dorking.
At the time of the 1901 Census the family lived at 38, Orchard Road, Dorking Surrey.
On the 1st of October 1902 Sidney was admitted to St Martin’s Church of England School. His sisters Edith and Beatrice followed. The family still lived at 38, Orchard Road, Dorking Surrey. Sidney was transferred from the school on the 20th of April 1903. According to the book it appears that Beatrice left on the 1st of May 1905 Dorking. She was likely sent to the St Peter Orphanage School in Broadstairs in Kent. She resided there at the time of the 1911 Census.
By the time of the 1911 Census Sidney lost his mother and his father Percy became a widower. Percy moved with his children to his parents’, Isaac and Jane, home at 24 Mill Lane, Dorking Surrey where he grew up. The house had 7 rooms. Sidney was working as a tailor maker and his youngest sister Winifred – Winnie was still at school.
Military History of S. A. Fillery
Sidney Arthur Fillery was part of the 2/4th Battalion Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment of the British Territorial Force. His service number was T/2636 and his rank was Private. Fillery enlisted in Dorking, Surrey. He was presumed dead on the 9th of August 1915. He was killed in action in Gallipoli at the Balkan theatre of war. He is commemorated at Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Canakkale, Turkey. Fillery doesn’t have a known grave and is enlisted on panels 30 -31. Fillery received the Victory and British War Medals and the 1914-1915 Star. He was 21 years old.
2/4 Battalion of the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was part of the British Territorial Force. The Battalion was formed in Croydon in August 1914 and then moved to Windsor to join the 2/ Surrey Brigade, 2/ Home Counties Division. On the 24th of April 1915 the Battalion moved to Cambridge as the part of 160th Brigade, 53rd Division. In July 1915 the Battalion mobilized for war and embarked to Gallipoli from Devonport in Plymouth. From the 9th of August they took part in various actions against the Turkish Army and after huge losses (the division was reduced to 15% of their full strength) due to combat casualties, disease and bad weather the Battalion was evacuated to Egypt on the 19th of December 1915.
The War Diary of the 2/4 Battalion of the Queens
On the 17th of July 1915 at 12.30 AM the Battalion boarded trains in Bedford for Devonport. At 8.00 PM on the same day the Battalion sailed on the HMT U[l]ysses to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Gallipoli. On July 28th the ship docked in Alexandria, Egypt. From the 31st of July to the 4th of August the Battalion called at Port Said. Then they sailed to Mudros Harbour at which they arrived on the 7th of August 1915. On the 8th of August 1915 the ship reached Suvla Bay on Gallipoli peninsula.
The next day on the 9th of August 1915 at 2.30 AM, the soldiers left the ship on ‘C’ Beach. Sometime during this day only a few hours after disembarking, Private Fillery died.
At 5.30 AM the Battalion was ordered to entrench south west of Chocolate Hill (Hill 53). At 6.40 AM an urgent message sent them to the North West slope of Hill 53 to reinforce the 31th Brigade. At this time the Battalion suffered several casualties (shelling & rifle firing) while advancing across South-Southeast of Salt Lake. At 7.30 AM they arrived at Chocolate Hill and were ordered to join the 33th Brigade and advance round North spur of the Hill & thence East to support the Brigade which was under attack. A 9.00 AM the 2/4th joined the 6th Dublin Fusilier Battalion and advanced and occupied an old Turkish trench. 3 companies advanced at 7.30 AM by 600 yards to front on to Hill 70 (Scimitar Hill) but were driven back by their own shell fire in the rear. The second attempt to advance to Hill 70 took place at 8 AM and also failed due to heavy fire from own guns in rear and ablaze scrubs on the Hill. At this point the Battalion suffered heavy casualties (250 men). At 12 noon the Battalion retreated back to the Turkish Trench and held on there. During the night of the 9th to 10th August the Battalion was under the heavy fire from one front and snipers while receiving an order to hold the position at all costs.
It is likely that Private Fillery died during the second advance on Hill 70 at 8 AM. He may have been even killed by a bullet/shell fired from his own Battalion and his body damaged by fire on the hill as it was never found.
Regiment 2/4th The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Date of Death 9th August 1915
Place of Death Gallipolli
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Helles Memorial, Turkey