Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Wilsongary Circle
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Wilsongary Circle
Name of Veteran: Sydney Harrold Wilson Apr. 22, 1923-June 11, 2012
Rank: Boy 1st Class, Leading Seaman
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1940-1943
Year of Visit/Dedication: September 2008
Veteran or Family Visit: Syd Wilson and daughter Brenda, with her husband Tim
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: No
Died at Battle: No
Sydney Wilson was born in 1923 in Woodhurst, now known as Cambridgeshire. Syd had a difficult childhood, raised in an orphanage from the age of seven until he turned fourteen. At that age he was transferred to the Shaftesbury Home in London and spent his days on a training ship called Arethusa, a tea clipper. Although this transfer was a big improvement in Syd’s life, he was very lonely. With no family, he didn’t receive visitors and when other young men on the ship went home for the holidays, he was left behind.
In January 1938 Syd joined the Royal Navy. When he was fifteen, he was sent to HMS Ganges and for the first time in his life had money in his pocket. He completed training in December 1939 and was sent to HMS Pembroke. In February 1940, he was drafted to HMS Ajax and the ship returned to the war via Alexandria. The ship ferried troops into the area and later evacuated people out. During the Battle of Matapan the action was intense and Syd witnessed several ships being sunk. The ship returned to England for repairs and a refit and then returned to the Mediterranean to assist in getting provisions into Malta. The next stop was scheduled for Bone Algeria as an advance force for the invasion of Italy. However, Ajax was bombed and all power was knocked out. The ship limped into Gibraltar and eventually ended up in the Brooklyn U.S. Naval Yard. Repairs took quite some time and by the time the ship returned to England, the war was drawing to a close.
When Syd was in Newcastle awaiting passage to Japan he met a girl and knew immediately that “this was the girl for him”. So after a very short courtship, and before joining his new cruiser, Syd married Doreen. Syd became very ill in 1949 and was hospitalized. Due to the illness he was discharged from the Royal Navy. When healed he began working for the Post Office and he and Doreen welcomed their only daughter, Brenda.
Syd worked in Civil service until retirement and visited the Town of Ajax three times. He died peacefully in his sleep on June 11, 2012 in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, U.K. at the age of 89.
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- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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