Location of Grave:
Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth. Plot R. Row 11. Grave 6.
SIDNEY JAMES DAY V.C.
11th Bn THE SUFFOLK REGIMENT
MEDAL WON IN FRANCE 26 AUGUST 1917
GAZETTED: 11 OCTOBER 1917.
BORN: NORWICH 3 JULY 1891.
DIED: PORTSMOUTH 17 JULY 1959
MEDAL NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
Details of Action
On 26 August 1917 east of Hargicourt, France, Corporal Day was in command of a bombing section detailed to clear a maze of trenches still held by the enemy; this he did, killing two machine gunners and taking four prisoners. Immediately after he returned to his section a stick bomb fell into a trench occupied by five men, one badly wounded. The corporal seized the bomb and threw it over the trench where it immediately exploded. He afterwards completed the clearing of the trench and established himself in an advanced position, remaining for 66 hours at his post which came under intense fire.
Day had previously been seriously wounded in four places during the Battle of the Somme and was invalided back to England, spending several months in hospital near his home in Norwich. When he was discharged, he returned to France as a Corporal with the 11th Battalion (Cambridge Suffolks), The Suffolk Regiment.
The Portsmouth Connection
Although employed as a butcher in pre-war civilian life, from 1932 Sidney Day is known to have run his own Tea Rooms called the "Sidney James VC Tea Rooms" at 12 The Arcade, Landport which was off Edinburgh Road. The tearooms were opposite the Arcade Picture House. The building was lost to the bombing on January 10th, 1941. After that Day became a messenger in Portsmouth Dockyard but had to retire in 1948 because he developed TB. He was living at 182 Kirby Road, North End at the time but by 1956 he was living in a prefab at 37 Penhale Road, Landport. A year later records show him living at 18 Fraser Road, Bedhampton and from there he was taken to Queen Alexandra's Hospital where he died on 17th July 1959. His wife, Doris, survived him, living until 1982 when on 18th June she died, also in Queen Alexandra Hospital, aged 76. At the time of her death she was living at 43 Thrush Walk, Wecock Farm. She was buried in the same grave as her husband in Milton Cemetery.