Sidney Hockey Fisher

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Sidney Hockey Fisher


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Sidney Fisher and La Belle


Two brothers born in St Helier lost their lives within eight weeks of each other in the Great War. A Royal Navy Engineer Artificer, Sidney Hockey Fisher was born in St Helier and lost his life in the Battle of Dover Strait in 1916. He is not currently included in the Jersey Great War Roll of Honour, which does include his brother Percy Edwin.


HMS Nubian aground under the Dover cliffs after losing her bow to a German torpedo

Sidney Hockey Fisher was 36 when he lost his life when on board HMS Nubian which was torpedoed in the Battle of Dover Strait in 1916.

Family

The fifth son of jeweller Charles John Fisher (1842-1916), of London, and Sarah Jane Hockey (1851-1918), of Somerset who were living in St Helier when they married at St Saviour's Parish Church in 1868, he was born in St Helier on 23 June 1880.

He appears to have left the island and joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, some time between the 1891 and 1901 censuses. He was living in Portsmouth when, in July 1904, he married La Belle Wheeler (1880-1965) at South Stoneham, Hampshire. The following March they had a daughter Rita (1905-1991).

The 1911 census shows Sidney, La Belle and Rita living at 72 Chichester Roard, North End, Portsmouth. Sidney had attained the rank of Warrant Officer.

Brothers

His elder brother Percy Edwin, the fourth of the seven Fisher brothers (they had three sisters) was serving as a private in the 12th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 3 September 1916 in Flanders. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme.

Percy was born in St Helier in about 1876 and had left the island and was living in Bristol, working for Pleasance and Harper, when he joined up. He was married to Rose Isabel George on 2 April 1911. Although the entry for Percy in the digital roll of honour suggests that he was a widow at the time of his death, family sources indicate that Rose survived him and died six months later in Chelmsford, Essex. The couple had no children.

Percy and Sidney's younger brother Owen Charles Fisher (1884- ) joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915 and served as a Private in the Canadian Infantry. Although wounded, he survived the war.

Battle of Dover Strait

At the time when Percy was killed, Sidney was serving on HMS Nubian, a Tribal class Destroyer which had been operating in the North Sea and English Channel for some time. During the Battle of Dover Strait on the night of 26-27 October 1916 Nubian's bow was almost severed by a German torpedo that exploded almost under her bridge. Percy was among 15 crew members either killed, or missing believed killed.

Percy was a member of the Portsmouth Temperance Freemasons Lodge at the time of his death, having joined eight years earlier. He is commemorated on the Royal Navy Memorial at Portsmouth.

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