Topic: Sidney Herbert Reed
Sidney Reed was a First World War soldier with links to Heathcote Valley and to Ashburton where he worked as a fireman.
Sidney was born in Balcairn, just north of Christchurch in the Hurunui disctrict on the 31st of March, 1891. His parents, William and Ellen Reed, were born in Gloucestershire, England. It was his mother's second marriage and three of his twelve siblings are from her first marriage to James Brain. William and Ellen were married in Newnham, Gloucestershire. They had one daughter with them when they moved to Balcairn where William worked as a Blacksmith and where the rest of the family were born and raised.
Sidney is described as being 32 years of age with a fair complexion and light brown hair. He stood at 5 feet 6 inches and was 154 pounds. His medical examination revealed him to be fit for enlisting despite the loss of the tip of one of his index fingers from a childhood accident. Another noteworthy childhood event that was recorded in the local newspapers was his standard 4 recognition for recitation and drawing.
On the 4th October, 1916, Sidney signed an oath to volunteer for the 22nd reinforcement draft.