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Three forgotten Old Hill brothers may be honoured at last

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

At the meeting are, from the left, Sandwell Councillor Bob Price; Freda Scott; Councillor Julie Webb; Councillor Ann Shackleton and Joe Gill the three brothers' nephew

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THREE brave forgotten Black Country brothers may be honoured at last - in time for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

Last November their niece Mrs Freda Scott asked on the front page of The Bugle why there was no memorial to her three Old Hill uncles who all died in France in the First World War.

The trio, who came from a family of ten, lived at No. 24 Pearson Street.

Private James Sidaway, who was in the South Staffs Territorials, died at Loos in 1915 aged 19.

Corporal David Sidaway, who was also in the South Staffs Territorials, died at the Somme in 1916 aged 18.

Private Thomas Sidaway, who was in the 3rd Worcs, died in Rouen in 1916 aged 28.

Sandwell Council read The Bugle article and Ian Cooper, the Council's Community Initiatives Officer, came to see us at Bugle House expressing interest in Freda's dilemma.

He said: "Sandwell Council would like to liaise with Mrs Cooper with a view to putting the names of her uncles on a lasting memorial near where they lived."

A meeting was arranged last week at Freda's house, attended by Ian Cooper; Councillors Bob Price, Julie Webb and Ann Shackleton; Freda herself, her brother Joe Gill and daughter Marion Pearson. Ann Shackleton said: "We've got to honour them so let's get on with it. They have waited too long to be remembered outside their family. Their names should be etched somewhere so others can remember the sacrifice they made."

Freda said she had been eagerly anticipating seeing the names of her three uncles appear at the newly-renovated war memorial in the churchyard at St Giles, Rowley Regis, last September. "It was such a disappointment" she said, "when the names didn't appear, I couldn't understand it.

"But I'm glad The Bugle followed up the story, because now Sandwell Council may be able to pay tribute to three sons of the borough, and have their names in full public view for the first time."

Now the matter is to be raised with the whole council and it is hoped that the three brothers will have their own memorial dedicated on Remembrance Sunday in November this year.

To mark the war centenary The Bugle will be printing a special 96-page colour book to honour the Black Country heroes in the Great War. Entitled We Will Remember Them it will be printed at the end of April and available in the shops and at our offices in May price £4.95.

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