Born: 12th September 1905, Brandon & Byshottles, County Durham.

Baptised: 3rd October 1905, at Brandon & Byshottles, County Durham.

Died: 19th March 1940; age: 35; Killed in a collision at Longstone Lighthouse, Northumberland.


On the 10th January 1918, 12 year old, Sydney was sent from the care of the town of Ipswich to the Training Ship ‘Exmouth,’ moored on the Thames off Grays in Essex. He was 4ft 10ins in height. ‘Exmouth’ was managed by the Metropolitan Asylums Board, for boys from the age of 12 chargeable to the poor rates. Sydney was discharged on the 8th December 1920 to H.M.S.’Impregnable.’

General Conduct – Very Good & could swim.


Impregnable – Boy II – 8th December 1920 – 9th May 1921

Conqueror – Boy II – 10th May 1921

Conqueror – Boy I – 11th July 1921 – 30th September 1921

Monarch – Boy I – 1st October 1921 – 18th November 1921

Tiger – Boy I – 19th November 1921 – 5th January 1922

Royal Oak – Boy I – 6th January 1922 – 2nd October 1922

Royal Sovereign – Boy I – 3rd October 1922

On the 12th September 1923, Sydney signed up for 12 years. Height: 5ft 7 1/2ins, dark complexion, brown eyes & brown hair.

Royal Sovereign – Ordinary Seaman – 12th September 1923

Royal Sovereign – Able Seaman – 12th September 1924 – 3rd January 1925

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 4th January 1925 – 1st September 1926

Egmont II – Valentine – Able Seaman – 2nd September 1926 – 31st March 1927

Egmont – Broke – Able Seman – 1st April 1927 – 8th April 1927

Egmont – Able Seaman – 9th April 1927 – 21st May 1927

Egmont II – Wryneck – 22nd May 1927 – 21st December 1928.


Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: C/J 1000183.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Jervis’


Grave Reference:


Tynemouth (Preston) Cemetery,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Frederick & Edith Lait; nephew of Charles Lait, of Ipswich.




1911   19, Potter Street, Ipswich.


Sydney was 5 years old and living with his paternal grandparents & uncles.

Harry Lait, 67, a Superannuated Gas Worker, born St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Sarah Lait (nee Jaye), 57, born Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Charles Lait, 20, a Machinist Turret Lathe – Engineers & Boiler Makers, born St. Clement’s,


James William Lait, 14, a Learner Iron & Steel Turnery – Engineers & Boiler Makers, born St. Clement’s, Ipswich.


In 1911, Sydney’s widowed father, Frederick Lait, was a boarder at the home of 58 year old, Henry Lowe, a Painter’s Labourer. 4, Milton Court Road, New Cross, S.E. Frederick was 23 years old, a Postal Clerk – Magadi Soda Co. Ltd.


Sydney’s mother was Edith Mary Lait (nee Gill).


His father, Frederick Lait, born 1887, St. Clement’s, Ipswich – died in the First World War on the 11th September 1914, of Wounds received on the same day at Nantes. Frederick was a Corporal, service number 14649, for the 48th Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was laid to rest at Nantes (La Bouteillerie), France.


In 1929, Samford, Suffolk, Sydney married Alice Mary Briggs, born March 1907, Norwich, Norfolk.


H.M.S. ‘Jervis’   19th March 1940


H.M.S ‘Jervis’ was a J-class destroyer, built by Hawthorn Leslie & Co. Ltd., Newcastle. Laid down 26th August 1937. Launched 9th September 1938. Commissioned 8th May 1939. On the 19th March 1940, H.M.S. ‘Jervis’ was involved in a collision with Swedish freighter, S.S. ‘Tor’, near Longstone Lighthouse, Longstone Rock, Seahorses, Northumberland, and sustained major damage to her bow structure. 17 crew killed in the collision. She was taken for repairs at Swan Hunter Shipyard, Newcastle.

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