Sydney Obed Saunders was born in 1893 in Canterbury, Kent.
In the 1911 census, Sydney was living with his family in Ireland and working as a clerk.
Sydney followed in the footsteps of his father who had served as a musician in the army. He initially served in the 8th Hussars as a Private where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He moved to the 13th Middlesex Regiment and finally to the Royal West Kent’s where he held the rank of Lieutenant.
Little information is known about the circumstances which led to Sydney being treated at Balgowan, though it was likely he was treated there during 1916.
Lieutenant Saunders was awarded the 1914/15 star, the British War medal and the Victory Medal
After the war
After the war, Sydney married Brita Elizabeth Bakewell in 1920 in Dover. After their marriage they lived at 13 Foxgrove Road in Beckenham. Their first son Peter was born in 1921. On 2nd June 1922 Sydney, Brita and Peter travelled to South Africa. In 1925 Sydney and Brita had a second son Pal.
A Balgowan love story?
Sydney’s wife Brita Elizabeth Bakewell, whom he married in 1920, was volunteering as a nurse at Balgowan VAD hospital between 1916 and 1917. Did their paths first cross whilst he was being treated at Balgowan?