Sidney Herbert Stagg was born in 1901. The eldest child of bootmaker Sidney Stagg and his wife Frances, Sidney Jr was too young to fight in the when war broke out.
He enlisted in the Royal Navy at the beginning of 1919, and was assigned to HMS Powerful, a training vessel based in Plymouth.
Boy Petty Officer Stagg’s time in the navy was heartbreakingly short. Within a few weeks he had contracted pneumonia and succumbed to the disease on 27th February 1919. He was just 17 years old, and had been in service for 36 days.
The Western Gazette reported on his funeral:
[He] left Sherborne just over a month ago to join the Royal Navy, a career for which he had expressed a great liking, and was attached to HMS Powerful, being made Boy PO within a fortnight of his joining that ship. A short time afterwards he contracted influenza, and pneumonia supervening, he died on Thursday at the Royal Naval Hospital, at Plymouth.
A service was held in the Congregational Church, and sontinued at the graveside, where three volleys were fired by a firing party of the Volunteers [the Sherborne Detachment 1st Volunteer Battalion, Dorset Regiment], and buglers sounded the last post. The Rev. W Melville Harris (uncle of the deceased) officiated, and the principal mourners were Mr Stagg (father), Miss Joyce Stagg (sister), Mr H Hounsell (uncle), and members of the business establishment.Western Gazette: Friday 7th March 1919.
Sidney Herbert Stagg lies at peace in the cemetery in his home town of Sherborne.
For the stories of more of the fallen from the Great War, take a look at my Commonwealth War Graves page.