Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Regiment: Royal Navy, HMS Maidstone, HMS Forth
Sydney Tolman was born in Seaton on 11 October 1877. He joined the Royal Navy on 8 February 1893 as a Boy 1st Class. On joining, his RN record described him as 5ft 2¼ inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. He gave his occupation before joining as tailor.
At the time of the 1911 Census his home address was 12 Seaview Terrace, Beer, with his wife Ida (nee Newton), their daughter Rita, aged two, and his father-in-law, Joseph Newton, a fisherman.
Sydney was a physical training instructor (PTI), and by 1905 was a Petty Officer 1st Class. He served at a number of Royal Navy shore establishments, and during the First World War he was posted to several submarine depot ships, including HMS Maidstone at Harwich and HMS Forth on the River Humber. On these ships he will have been responsible for maintaining the physical fitness of the crews of submarines.
Sydney also coached Royal Navy tug-of-war teams, including the one above, on HMS Forth. He is in the centre of the back row in the photo.
Sydney finally left the Royal Navy on 13 October 1919. He died in 1958.
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