Sidney joined Ilford County High School in September 1904, the year before his younger brother, Leslie (who also died in the war). He was born on 13th November 1891. His father was listed as a Civil Servant on his registration and as Overseer GPO a year later when Leslie was registered. His family lived at 16 Norfolk Road, Seven Kings.
He received an exemption from tuition fees. Whilst at the school, he passed two examinations with 3rd class honours (The Oxford Juniors Local exam and Mathematics Stage II). In addition, he achieved 1st class honours for Freehand and Model examinations. He left the school in 1908 in order to take up a post as a bank clerk.
When the Cleveland School War Memorial was revealed from behind the wooden panelling in the main school hall in 2011, his name was included.
The Christmas 1914 edition of the school magazine, Chronicles, explained, ‘War generally separates friends and relatives. There are exceptions, however, to this. When in England, the two brothers, Private H.G. Stenning (Westminster Dragoons) and Trooper S.N. Stenning (Herts Yeomanry) live forty miles apart. Both regiments volunteered for active service, and were sent to Egypt, where our two Old Boys, found themselves in the same barracks, four miles from the Pyramids.’
He was reported as slightly wounded in the Christmas 1915 Chronicles. He died on 21st March 1918 whilst serving with the 189th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery as a Second Lieutenant. He is commemorated at the Arras Memorial (Bay 1).
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.