Private Sydney Marshall Rayfield
Born. Kirkstall, Leeds, 1892.
Died. France. 1/7/1916, aged 24.
Sydney Marshall Rayfield was the only son of the late Mr Thomas Rayfield (died 1912 aged 58) and Mrs M.A. Rayfield, of Chestnut Avenue, Crossgates, Leeds. On leaving school he entered the office of the Yorkshire Evening Post and later obtained a position as a bank clerk with his late father’s office at Messrs, Becketts Bank, Park Row, Leeds.
He joined the Pals on 6th September 1914 and after training served as a battalion stretcher bearer with C company at Colsterdale, Egypt and France.
On March 20 1916 he was one of 5 lucky Pals who were given seven days leave in England.
As a stretcher bearer He had certainly risked his life on many occasions but in the late evening of July 1st whilst the Germans were continually strafing the Pals front line, he volunteered to go out into no mans land to search for wounded but sadly, killed by German machine gun fire. Afterwards a fellow Pal wrote to Mrs Rayfield that:
“Sydney had always been a cheery and helpful comrade and never refused to be of service, He had always been ready to help with the wounded and took on even the most dangerous of jobs with great enthusiasm, we all miss him so much.”
He is buried in Euston Road Military Cemetery, Colincamps, France.