Sydney Caine was born on January 24, 1893 in Ashton-under-Lyne. In 1911 he was a 16 years old Grocer’s Assistant living at 48 Cranbrook St, Ashton.
He joined the 9th Battalion Manchester regiment on October 17, 1914 the same day as his best friend Arthur Slater. His service number was 2680. They underwent basic training with the 2/9th Manchesters at Southport and on July 5, 1915 sailed to Gallipoli arriving on the 23rd. They fought in the Battle of Krithia Vineyard in early August and endured the front line trench warfare that followed.
On September 22nd he was admitted to the Number 11 Casualty Clearing Station with jaundice and evacuated from the peninsula on the Hospital Ship Ausonia, arriving in Malta on September 28. He rejoined the Base Depot at Alexandria on December 7th and was classified fit for active service (Class A). He was then shipped to Mudros where he rejoined the Battalion on January 3, 1916 after they had left Gallipoli for good.
The Battalion sailed to Egypt where he spent the next year with them defending the Suez Canal from attack by the Turks. During this time he served with the Scouts with his old friend Arthur Slater.
In November 1916 he injured his left knee and was admitted to 31st General Hospital in Port Said. He spent two months in hospital rejoining the 42nd Division Base Depot in Alexandria on January 8, 1917. Shortly after rejoining the Division he was sent to Signals School for a month subsequently joining the Signals Company. Meanwhile the 42nd Division sailed for France on March 4, 1917 and left Sid in Egypt.
A month later he was admitted to the Citadel Hospital in Cairo with a broken collar bone and was discharged 4 weeks later on April 11th. He spent the next 4 months at Serapeum, Cairo and on August 17, 1917 was officially transferred from the 1/9th Manchesters to the 3rd East Lancs Royal Engineers, Territorial Force with service number 443872. He remained with them in Egypt for the duration of the war sailing back from Port Said on March 18, 1919 aboard the HMT Magdelena.
He was discharged from the Army on April 9, 1919 his papers noting that he was sober, intelligent, reliable and industrious. Back in Ashton-under-Lyne he became a civil servant and is said to have helped his old friend Arthur Slater obtain a job at the Labour Exchange.
He married Eleanor (Nellie) Knowles, a felt hat trimmer, in October 1921 and they moved to 23 Clarendon St, Dukinfield.
Sydney Caine died on March 15, 1968, two months after his best friend Arthur Slater. He was 75 years old. Syd’s wife, Nellie, lived to be 94 years old.