Sidney Gunnell, at the age of 26, had become an orphan. His father had died in 1910 and his mother in 1912. As one of ten children of Thomas Gunnell and Mary Jane Goodyear, Sidney was of course not alone in the world. However, most of his siblings had gone into service, and most were in London. Annie and Agnes were living at Wakeswood, in service to Henry Longfellow Cooper and his wife. George and his wife were in Longparish. There were only three of them left at 4, Homefield, and he was the man of the house. His sister Jane was nineteen, and Constance May was seventeen.
He had joined the army in preference to going into service, and had been able to send money home over the years to help support the family. But now he was sitting in the army depot in Winchester, waiting for the call to go to France, and he did not share the gung-ho exuberance of some of his comrades, which was beginning to get on his nerves. He had put Jane down as his next of kin, as indeed she was, but he hoped to goodness that he would survive the war to look after his sisters.
And, still aged only 28, Sidney was not against the idea of living to a ripe old age himself…
You can see the Homefield terrace of five houses here, marked in yellow at the bottom right hand side of the map, below the ‘V’ for view.
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Thankyou for keeping history alive, Sidney my distant relative. On the roll of service in the local church shows another gunnell serving but I can’t work out who he is, do you have an idea.