Life took over this past two+ weeks, and unfortunately, this project took a back seat to some other important events for my family. We lost someone dear to us, and she will be on my mind as I work through the final weeks of this project. In a good and sweet way.
Sydney Smith Bester was the younger brother of Frank Harold Bester by just over a year: the tenth of eleven children born to Charles Bester Jr. and Fanny Adams. In the 1911 census, he is listed as living with his parents and older brother Frank, and working as a baker’s assistant in a bakehouse in South Tottenham, London.
In February of 1916, just three months after his brother’s enlistment, Sydney enlisted in the 9th battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment, Royal Field Artillery. Of the 3 years and 91 days between his enlistment and demobilization, Sydney spent 2 years and 279 days in the Mesopotamian theatre of war. His daughter would have been just over a year old when he enlisted, and his wife would have been pregnant with his son when he was deployed. By the time he returned to England, his daughter would be 4, and his son, who he likely had never met, would have been nearly 3.
After the war, he returned to London and his family. His wife passed away in 1943, and Sydney lived alone for the first time in his life for five years until remarrying in 1948. Sydney passed away in 1957 at the age of 64.