Corporal StripesOriginally referred to a reliable veteran called the capo de'squadra or head of the square. The title changed to caporale by the Sixteenth Century and meant the leader of a small body of soldiers. The French picked up the term in about the Sixteenth Century and pronounced it in various ways, one of them being corporal, which indicates a mixing with the Latin word corpus or French corps (body). The British adopted corporal in the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century and it has been a part of the army ever since. The British gave the Corporal his two stripes when they started using chevrons in 1803.

Corporal Sidney Albert Dillingham

Sidney Albert Dillingham was my Grandfather.  He was born in 1885 in Luton to Albert and Mary Dillingham, who went on to have eight other children.  In 1910 Sidney married Annie Fossey Butler and they had three daughters, Violet, Beatrice and Dorothy.  In 1916 Sidney joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served most of the War at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Netley Hospital).  He left the Services in 1921.

Corporal Sydney Ewart Cannon

Sydney was born in 1885 to John Thomas and Eliza. He was living at 6 Crawley Green Road in 1911 with his mother, a straw hat machinist, four sisters, Olive, a milliner aged 19, Doris 12, Marjorie 10, Elsie 7 and his 4 year old brother Leslie. Sydney was working in the hat factory warehouse. He had attended Luton Grammar School & is remembered on the Roll Of Honour plaque found at Stockwood Park.


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