Habershon, Sidney Heathcote

Second Lieutenant / Suffolk Regiment

1889 - 1918

Sidney Heathcote Habershon was born 26 July 1889, the second son of Edward Neston Williams Habershon (G 1872-1874), of Holmwood, Dorking, and elder brother of Second Lieutenant Philip Henry Habershon (A 1907-1911), King's Royal Rifle Corps, who fell in September 1915 (see individual entry).

Sidney came to Winchester College from G.K. Olivier's school in January 1903. He was in A House, Chernocke  House, and rose to be Head of his House and a Commoner Prefect. He also played in OTH XV and VI, Lords XI and the 2nd Soccer XI, and in his last year won Steeplechase.

He left Winchester in the summer of 1908 for Clare College, Cambridge, and took his degree with Honours in the Historical Tripos, and in 1912 was appointed Assistant Master at the Uppingham Preparatory School.

He was there when war broke out, but owing to ill-health had to content himself with service in the Uppingham O.T.C. and, having moved to St Andrew's School, Eastbourne, the Eastbourne contingent of the O.T.C.  By July 1917 he had recovered sufficiently to obtain a transfer to the Suffolk Regiment and in November of that year he went to France with the 9th Battalion, being slightly wounded at the Battle of Cambrai. On the disbandment of the 9th Suffolks in February 1918 he transferred to 12th Suffolks, who found themselves in a difficult position in March 1918 at the commencement of the Great German Offensive. No trenches had been dug and on 22 March 1918 the Germans surrounded the Battalion. The Suffolks were forced to retreat and dig in on the Ervillers-Mory road. For the next three days they endured heavy fighting at the end of which they had suffered 367 casualties with almost every officer either killed, wounded or misssing.

On 9 April they were involved in the major defensive action of Fleurbaix, where they held on for over 12 hours before being forced to withdraw. It was during this action that Habershon fell on 10 April 1918, although the CWGC states nothing more precise than between 8 and 13 April.

2nd Lieutenant Habershon married Miss Katherine Raven in August 1915 and left one son, John Lindsay Habershon (A 1930-1935) who was killed in a climbing accident in March 1937 on Aran Mawddwy in North Wales.

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