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Mr Sidney E Drewett

09 May 1915 - 08 July 2007

In Memory of Mr Sidney Drewett 9th May 1915 – 8th July 2007

And Mrs Joan Drewett 20th March 1921 – 9th September 2009

Born 9th May at Bratton, Wiltshire, Sidney Drewett was the youngest of four brothers. His eldest brother was killed in the First World War. His was a very poor family and Sid would catch rabbits to provide meat for the family to eat.

He attended the local village Baptist Church School and in 1925 won a scholarship to attend Trowbridge High School for Boys. There he gained the Oxford Senior School Certificate with credits in English and Latin and a distinction in Mathematics. In 1932 he passed for admission to Bristol University but, sadly could not attend due to lack of family finances. In 1932 he became an Invoice Clerk and would power his way for seven miles over Salisbury plain on a bicycle to start work at 7am until 6.30 pm or later each evening and then cycle seven miles home. He worked six days a week!

In 1936 he joined the Royal Navy as a Sick Berth Attendant. He wanted to wear a collar and tie which was his reason for joining the Medical Branch! In 1938 he was drafted to HMS Scorpion – the flagship of the Yangtse Squadron – in 1940 to 1942, and during his 35 days leave he married Joan in Southampton during an air raid. Ten days later he was recalled from leave and went to Scotland to train with the Royal Marine Branch Engineers and then spent a very active two years seconded to the Marines. In 1944 Sid obtained the only distinction awarded that year for Pathology Techniques at the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar. In 1945 he returned to the Pacific where, due to Japanese shrapnel, he lost an eye and suffered a knee injury. He did not talk much about these events but I know he was in Singapore during the Japanese surrender.

On his return to the UK in 1946 he studied at Haslar Hospital and in 1947 he returned to Singapore as a Chief Petty Officer in charge of a Physiological Research Laboratory. In 1948 he retired from the Royal Navy after 12 years service and worked in Pathology in the Royal West Sussex Hospital.

In 1950 Sid obtained a BSc in Microbiology followed in 1952 by an MSc in Haematology.

In 1954 he and Joan went to Nigeria for 7 years where he was firstly the Superintendant of leprosy research in Eastern Nigeria and in 1956 he also became the Chief Superintendant of Eastern Nigeria Pathology Department.

On his return to the UK in 1962 Sid and Joan took up residence in the Chichester house he had bought in 1952. Joan was a secretary in Nigeria and continued to work as such with the Chichester Council in 1962. Sid joined the Portsmouth and Isle of Wight pathology service as the Chief of Microbiology Research and also became the Regional Advisor on disinfection, sterilisation and infection control. He retired in 1980 as the Authority Principal Bio Medical Scientist.

In retirement, Sid immersed himself in his large and productive garden and was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society. He had been a member of the Chichester RNA for many years and had helped keep it going through thick and thin years before becoming President in 2001.

Sid loved classical music, was a great conversationalist, highly intelligent and one of the most courteous and civil persons anyone could possibly meet. Sid and Joan made a charming couple, who lived long and happy lives together.

They left a very generous legacy to The Royal Star & Garter Homes.

Submitted by Commander D A Blythe, OBE