From Colonial Warrior to Western Front Flyer. The Five Wars of Sydney Herbert Bywater Harris

From_Colonial_WarriorA Real ‘Boys Own’ Adventure!

Sydney Herbert Bywater Harris was an adventurer, a man possessed of great courage and charm, who fulfilled every schoolboy fantasy and really did ‘live the dream’.

In 1898, at the age of 17, he left Essex for the Klondike gold rush. Arriving too late to make his fortune he joined the US 6th Cavalry.

After seeing action in the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippines Insurrection, Sydney returned to England and joined the 4th County of London Imperial Yeomanry (King’s Colonials).

In August 1914 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and in 1916 went to France with 23 Squadron to fly the FE2b where he was badly wounded while gun-spotting over enemy lines. After several months recovering he was posted to Turnberry as Chief Instructor and then to Marske (by-the-Sea), to form and command No.2 Fighting School. In 1919 he was awarded the Air Force Cross.

But war was not quite finished with Sydney. In 1936 he became involved with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and in 1939 he joined the RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). When the Second World War broke out he was posted to Turnhouse as Section Controller. But at 58 years old and determined to see more action, he arranged a transfer to France as Adjutant with No 1 Squadron. He later transferred to 1 ATS near Perpignan and was one of the last to leave France with the German Blitzkrieg only hours away. Despite his ill health he continued to serve throughout the war and in 1947 became Commander at Marchwood Park where the members of the ‘Guinea Pig’ club went to recover.

A remarkable life led in an era of endless possibilities …….

Royalties from this book will go to Help 4 Homeless Veterans who support, Servicemen and women into suitable accommodation, and empower them to develop a civilian career through their links with employers and other organisations. I work regularly with this charity in my day job and know how effective they are. The link to their website is http://help4homelessveterans.org.uk/

John Doubleday, the international sculptor, Sydney’s grandson, invites you to drinks to celebrate the publication of the book. Brief author talk and book signing Sunday 12 April, Goat Lodge Farm, Goat Lodge Road Great Totham. Begins 11,30, talk at 12 noon.

Comments/ Reviews

It is certainly a ‘Boys’
Own’ adventure. Well written to the point that once started, just couldn’t put
it down !

G.M

 

Dear Carole,

                This email is long overdue and I should have written to you before now to congratulate you on writing a very good account of our grandfather’s eventful life.

                Your achievement is the greater for having had so few hard facts to work with. In putting flesh on the bare bones, you have produced an interesting bio of the man himself, and also an informative historical backdrop for the turbulent times in which he lived and fought.

M. H. One of Sydney’s grandson.

 

As mentioned in
Epworth Bells and Crowle Advertiser

Sydney Herbert Bywater Harris was an adventurer, a man possessed of great courage and charm, who fulfilled every schoolboy fantasy and really did ‘live the dream’.

The second youngest of seven children, the ordinary life held little appeal for Sydney so, in 1898, at the age of 17, he left home in Ilford for the Klondike gold rush. Arriving too late to make his fortune he decided to join the US Army.

Two and a half years later, after seeing action in the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippines Insurrection, Sydney returned to England where he met and married Elsa de Verde Verder, a lady from an affluent Vermont family. A year later Sydney joined the Kings Colonials Imperial Yeomanry, later renamed the King Edward’s Horse.

Still seeking excitement, in August 1914 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and in 1916 went to France with 23 Squadron to fly the FE2b. Life expectancy for pilots on the front lines was very short and he was badly wounded while gun-spotting over enemy lines. After several months recovering he was posted to Turnberry as Chief Instructor and on the 13th August 1917, he was posted to Marske (by-the-Sea), with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, to form and command No.2 Fighting School. In 1919 he was awarded the Air Force Cross.

But war was not quite finished with Sydney. In 1936, fleeing imminent bankruptcy, he became involved with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Returning back to England he joined the RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) and when the Second World War broke out he was posted to Turnhouse as Section Controller. This really didn’t suit him and, determined to see more action, at the age of 58, he arranged a transfer to France as Adjutant with No 1 Squadron where his duties included liaising with the French Air Force. He later transferred to 1 ATS near Perpignan and was one of the last to leave France with the German Blitzkrieg only a few hours away. Despite his ill health he continued to serve throughout the war and in 1947 became Commander at Marchwood Park where the members of the ‘Guinea Pig’ club went to recover.
Argunners Magazine

This is a rewarding read…An excellent account of an extraordinary individual. There are also many well-chosen images to support the text and these provide a number of fresh insights. A good story, well-told.
Firetrench

This is a remarkable story, supported by family documents and photographs as well as wide-ranging historical study and an extensive index.
Cross & Cockade International

As featured in.
Essex Chronicle

The remarkable story of a courageous and charming adventurer who left Essex for the gold rush. ‘From Colonial Warrior to Western Front Flyer’ is a real Boy’s Own adventure, detailing the five wars Sydney Herbert Bywater Harris was involved in and a remarkable life lived in an era of endless possibilities.
Maldon and Burnham Standard

5.0 out of 5 stars Carole’s latest publication is the best yet !
By Graham Morley on 27 February 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent read – Carole doesn’t disappoint with this her latest book. Sydney HB Harris is one of those `larger than life’ characters whose life story is related in an enjoyable style with detail and context. Recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
By mick on 20 June 2016
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
very good