The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Sydney James
- Nick Name:
- Kid or Syd
- Regimental #:
- ‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion
- Place of Birth:
- Epping Green, Essex, England
- Father's Name:
- William Robert Darby
- Mothers's Name:
- Edith Hannah Darby
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Shop Assistant
- Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 136, Age 19.
- Cause of Death:
- Killed in Action. Soldier is thought to have been killed by a Japanese sniper whilst on patrol.
- Place of Death:
- Sungei Kranji-Sungei Jurong Defence Line
- Date of Death:
Sydney Darby is thought to have been killed by a Japanese sniper whilst on patrol on 10th February 1942, the day prior to the Company running into a Japanese Ambush at South West Bukit Timah. There was a terrible loss of life with about 88 of the 200 men surviving.
Wallly Holding said “Syd Darby was only a youngster, but wass most popular in the Company. He was known as the ‘Kid’.”
Sydney Darby died aged 19 years. He joined the 2/4th Reinforcements, ‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion and sailed to Singapore on ‘Aquitania’ in January 1942 with Mundijong mates Steve Gleeson, George Leipold and Bill Swann.
Syd’s father had served in the British Army in WW1 and been exposed to mustard gas. Because of his health he was advised to seek a warmer climate to live. With his wife and two young sons, the family sailed to Albany in 1924 on “Demosthenes” and firstly joined a Group Settlement and eventually moved to Holyoake near Dwellingup.
It is believed Syd worked in the Mundijong area and initially became friends with George Leipold and met the other mates.
Read about the Five from Mundijong.