Sydney Malyan Knight

Date of birth: 1880
Place of birth: Reigate, Surrey
Regiment: Warwickshire
Battalion: 2/6th
Rank / Service No: Private, 263031
Died: 2nd November 1918, aged 38 years
Buried: Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France (Plot III, Row D, Grave 12)


Sydney was the sixth of 10 siblings born to Alfred and Emily Sophia Knight (nee Hentley), who married in Islington in 1870.


Both parents were born in Reigate, Alfred in 1838 and Emily in 1849. Alfred died in there in 1898, and Emily passed away in Kent in 1921.



Thomas Alfred   b. 1871 Reigate   d. 1875 Reigate

Ernest Percival   b. 1874 Reigate   d. 1912 Reigate

Horace CHARLES   b. 1875 Reigate   d. 1924 Reigate   Married either Bertha Pike or Alice Maud Brown in Reading in 1908 (dead by 1911). Married Alice M. Wilson in Kingston in 1922.

Leonard George   b. 1876 Reigate   d. 1959 Uxbridge   Married Daisy Emily Hey in Uxbridge in 1908.

Marguerite Emily M.   b. 1 October 1877 Reigate   d. 1970 Honiton   Married John Tarr in Okehampton in 1912.

Sydney Malyan

Geoffrey Richard   b. 31 May 1881 Reigate   d. 1945 Hitchin   Married Augusta S. Haize in Guernsey in 1904 (a publican).

Ethel Daisy   b. 8 November 1885 Reigate   d. 1970 Reigate   Married William Hollington Richards in Reigate on 2 August 1915.

Leslie Roger   b. 13 December 1887 Reigate   d. 26 September 1965 Yeovil   Married Lily Ada Brooks in Yeovil in 1921. Married May Jones in Yeovil in 1933.

Stanley Herbert   b. 9 August 1889 Reigate   d. 1963 Lambeth


Sydney married Florence Louise Roberts in Islington on 25 September 1906. They moved to Bitterne the following year and lived at 1 Juniper Road, Lances Hill for many years.


Florence was born in Greenwich on 17 May 1878 and she passed away in Southampton in 1953.


The couple had 2 sons……


Leslie Charles Malyan   b. 27 October 1907 Bitterne   d. 1985 Southampton   Married Elsie G. Asher in Southampton in 1932 (lived in parents house in 1939).

Stanley Malyan   b. 7 November 1910 Bitterne   d. 1983 Southampton   Married Joan Kinsella in Southampton in 1935.


Sydney, a seller of polishes, was evidently a career soldier. He fought in the Boer War, as a Trooper (#45077), in the 39th Battalion in the Imperial Yeomanry.

At some point between the Boer War and WW1, he was also in the 15th Royal Irish Rifles (#52024).


The 2/6th battalion was formed in Birmingham in October 1914 as a “home service” unit only. The battalion was then split, with all those personnel passed fit destined for the Western Front.


Sydney enlisted in the Battalion in Clapham….it is not known why he was there when the family were based in Southampton.

The battalion became part of the 182nd Brigade in the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division in August 1915 and landed in France in late May 1916.


After a short period of training, the battalion was heavily involved in the Attack at Fromelles during July 1916.


The two main engagements of 1917 were the operations on the Ancre and the Battle of Langemarck.


1918 was a busy year for the 48th Division and it was during virtually the last “big” battle of the war that Sydney perished.


The Battle of Valenciennes (1-2 November 1918) resulted in the Allied troops capturing the strategically important city.


It seems such a pity that Sydney survived so much in his military career just to fall a mere 9 days before the Armistice was signed.


The cemetery contains 885 Commonwealth WW1 burials.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th October 2016


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