Ajax Public Library Digital Archive
Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Blackburn Crescent
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Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Blackburn Crescent


Street Name: Blackburn Crescent Name of Veteran: Sydney Blackburn April 25, 1917-1974 Rank: Gunner Ship Served: HMS Ajax Date of Service on Ship: 1938 to 1940 Year of Visit/Dedication: 2011 Veteran or Family Visit: Son, Ken Blackburn and daughter-in-law Myra Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes Died at Battle: No Sydney was born in Driffield, East Yorkshire on April 25, 1917. Due to family circumstances he was sent to Dr. Barnardo’s Orphanage on March 8, 1927. From there, on August 31, 1932 he was sent to the Watts Naval school, Norfolk for basic training and stayed there until joining the Royal Navy on February 21, 1933. He first served on HMS Ganges and was given his service number CJX 138643, he then moved to HMS Pembroke, Chatham to train as a gunner. Sydney took part in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, the battle of Cape Matapan in 1941, and also assisted with Atlantic convoys in 1943 and 1944. Sydney signed up for 12 years, and served a total of 15. During his time in the Royal Navy, he served on many ships; HMS York, Danae, Cairo and Ajax, then came Warspite, Corfu, Reaper, and lastly HMS Teviot as a Petty Officer. Sydney left the Navy in 1947 at the age of 30. On April 19, 1943 Sydney married Amy Wright in Hull, East Yorkshire. They had one son, Kenneth and two grandchildren, Andrew and Claire. Sydney gained his Viticuler’s license (inn keeper) in 1958, buying his own public house in 1960, and staying there until his retirement in 1974. Following retirement, and after 31 years of marriage, Sydney Wilson Blackburn passed away.