Sidney was one of four brothers who went to War. Only the youngest, Herbert, would return. 2nd Lieutenant George McMillan died leading his men on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. John had been killed on 20 July 1916 serving with the Royal Fusiliers and his brother, Herbert, who was wounded
Like his brothers, Sidney was born in Manchester but had lived in Heaton Moor since he was a young boy. The 1901 Census shows the family living at 8 Gladstone Grove. His parents were John, a merchant's clerk, and Mary. It was a comfortable middle class life. John McMillan's income allowed the family to employ a live-in servant and for his sons to be educated at Manchester Grammar School.
The family worshipped at the local Congregational Church and Sidney had attended its primary school. He worked for the Royal Insurance Company in Manchester. He was another of the area’s keen lacrosse players, a member of the Heaton Mersey team, who all enlisted together. He had also been a member of the Territorial Force for several years and was mobilised when War was declared in August 1914.
Within a month, Sidney was aboard a ship bound for Egypt where the Battalion would spend the next seven months. Click here for details of this time. In early May 1915, the men were ready to go into action and sailed for the Gallipoli peninsula. An account of the battle which cost Sidney his life is here.
The Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 13 August, reported that, after the attack, Sidney was posted as being missing. He had been last seen bandaging a comrade who had been shot in the stomach. “It is supposed that all his section was enveloped by shrapnel”. The paper reported that his body had now been found. However, after the withdrawal of British troops from the failed campaign, at the end of 1915, the location of many graves were lost and Sidney’s name is now inscribed on the nearby Memorial to the Missing.
In the early 1920s, the McMillan were still living in Heaton Moor but had moved to 11 King's Drive.