Captain Sidney Charles Sapsworth of Ryde Fire Brigade passed away on 30 November 1926 aged 66.
Sidney was born in Edgware Road, Paddington, London in 1861. His parents were Henry, a boat builder, and Mary Ann. The 1871 Census when Sidney was nine, shows that the family were living at 8 New Road, Richmond upon Thames. He was the middle of three brothers.
The electoral role for 1881 listed him residing at Coniston Villa, Heathfield South, Twickenham. Ten years later he is back in New Road, Richmond, residing with his wife Henrietta and two year old daughter Lillian at No. 16, next door to his parents who were then at No. 15. By this stage his father had diversified into the world of bookmaking along with Sidney's elder brother Henry senior, whilst Sidney himself was trading as a fruiterer and florist.
By this stage he had been a member of the Richmond Volunteer Fire Brigade for two years. A report in the Surrey Comet of September 1887 suggests Sidney was a fit and active member of the brigade as he gathered a pair of medals when competing in various events attended by several fire brigades of the region at the Old Deer Park. The report also details his elder brother Henry as competing, suggesting that brigade service was a family concern.
Soon after this he was appointed superintendent in charge of the brigade and during his tenure he was officer in charge at some substantial fires including those at the Star and Garter Hotel, Hampton Court Palace and Watney's Brewery. He also led his brigade on a torrid 50 mile horse-drawn response when the barracks in Winchester suffered a severe fire in 1894 and they were among several that attended to assist the local brigade.
In the same year he announced his resignation from the Richmond brigade on account of his plan to move with his family to the Isle of Wight from their home at 15 Kew Road, Richmond.
Sidney and family moved to Ryde and set up both home and business at the same address, as detailed in the advertisement of the period (below) which appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press.