b. 06/08/1869 Merton, Surrey. d. 21/10/1940 Dartford, Kent.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 26/06/1911 Sheffield Gas Company, Sheffield.
Sydney was born on 6th August 1869 in Merton, Surrey, the son of William Francis and Sarah Eliza Dickson (nee Goodon). He was baptised at St Mary’s, Merton on 12th September 1869. He was his parents’ fourth child, with older siblings named William, Sarah and Donald. After schooling in Tooting, he moved around a little, until on 26th October 1891, he married Ada Jaine Cook at Christ Church, Battersea. He became a gas fitter. Sadly, his first wife passed away, and he moved north to Sheffield c.1910 and began work with the Sheffield Gas Company. He lived at 24 Rudyard Road in the Hillsborough area of the city. In 1914, he married his housekeeper Emily Harborne in Sheffield, and took on a step-daughter Emily Ethel. Little is known about what happened to Sydney after 1914 and his marriage to Emily, but it seems that he moved back down south, and was living in the South London/Kent area. He died on 21st October 1940 (registered in Dartford) and was buried on 24th October 1940 in Woolwich Cemetery.
On the 26th June, 1911, Rhodes was working in an underground washer-tank belonging to the Sheffield Gas Company, at Effingham Street, Sheffield, with two men named Jenkinson and Foster when a serious explosion of gas took place. As a result, Foster was severely burned and imprisoned at the far end of the tank, access to which was blocked by the explosion. Having given the alarm, Rhodes returned through the underground passage to the tank, in the presence of great danger of a further explosion from escaping gas, and managed to reach Foster, whose cries he heard. He could not, however, release him until Dickson and Wood came to his assistance. These two men were not working in the tank, but heard Foster’s cries, and immediately went to his assistance without knowing that Rhodes had preceded them. They got into the underground passage by another entrance, and their help enabled Rhodes to release Foster,
BURIAL LOCATION: WOOLWICH CEMETERY, WOOLWICH, LONDON.
SECTION 11 GRAVE 398.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.