Sydney Edward Oates
Quarter Master Serjeant
3rd Battalion Suffolk Regiment .
Sydney Edward Oates was the third son of late Mr & Mrs William Thomas Oates of “Moreton” Talford Avenue, Reading. Quartermaster Sergeant Oates died at Katesgrove Hospital. In the Reading Standard of August 11. 1917 he was described as “a gallant soldier and a keen, conscientious church worker”. He was spoken of in glowing terms by his officers. He had had a varied and honourable military career. It appears that his untiring energy in the early days of the war may have contributed to the illness which was the cause of his death.
Sydney Oates was born on Jan 12th 1870 in the parish of St. Giles and was educated at the British school, later going to the Blue Coat School. Leaving school in 1884 he went into the ironmongery trade with Mr. Hawkes, High St. He enlisted in the Suffolk Regt. on 7th Oct. 1889 and saw service in Egypt from 1889-1891, India from 1891-1892, and at home from 1893-1896 at Colchester and Warley. He was on reserve for 3 years and served again with his regiment in the South African War, 1899-1902. He remained in South Africa for some years after his 12 years service and on returning to England worked for Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corp. HQ in London. He re-enlisted with the Suffolks on Nov. 12th 1914 and was stationed at Felixstowe. He was invalided out in 1916 and passed away “bravely and patiently” as a pensioner.
The funeral took place with full military honours. Chief mourners included Miss Gibbs & Pte. H. M. Oates, Canadian Expeditionary Force and his sisters. Their were a large number of floral tributes.
His major wrote when he had to leave the battalion through ill health” I should like to take the opportunity of thanking you for all the good work you have done from the time you came up until you were most unfortunately incapacitated….I personally owe you a deep debt of gratitude for your loyal and devoted services during a period when failure meant disaster….I know how grieved you are at being unable to see the war through, but rest easy on that score. You have done your duty”.
His name is entered on the screen wall in the War Plot. His extensive service records are available on Ancestry UK.