- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/12/01
- Latest 1919/12/31
- Inscription 475292 PTE S. J. LUCK; STERLING
- Materials Sterling silver
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Person / Institution Subject, Luck, Private Sydney James
- Measurements Length 3.8 cm, Width 3.1 cm, Thickness 0.2 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Luck, Sydney James
Sydney (sometimes recorded as Sidney) James Luck was born in Henley-on-Thames, England, on 9 May 1889. He was the third of John and Annie Luck’s six children. His father was a baker and grocer.
A student, Luck enlisted in the 4th Overseas Universities Company in Montréal, Quebec, on 15 September 1915. His younger brother, Lewis Edward Luck, had enlisted a year before. After initial training in Canada, Luck and his unit embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard SS Lapland on 21 November 1915. The ship arrived in Plymouth, England, on 4 December 1915.
The 4th Overseas Universities Company was used as a reinforcement company by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). As a result, after receiving some training with the 11th Canadian Infantry Battalion in England, Luck was transferred to the PPCLI on 24 March 1916 and joined the unit in France two days later.Two months after joining the PPCLI, Luck was wounded in the right ankle. The wound was serious enough for him to be evacuated to England for medical treatment at Filsham Park Hospital, St Leonards-on Sea, East Sussex. After two months’ treatment, Luck was discharged from the hospital. He then spent another two months regaining his strength and skills at the Canadian bases in Kent. Luck finally rejoined the PPCLI in the field on 29 September 1916. Luck was once again hospitalized on 8 January 1917. This time, he was said to have been suffering from myalgia (muscle pain) in his legs and insomnia. He returned to duty 14 days later.
On 9 April 1917, Luck was wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Evacuated from the field, he died of his wounds at 10:30 p.m. at No. 22 Casualty Clearing Station in Bruay, France. Although the PPCLI had suffered relatively few casualties (estimated between 35 and 40 in the war diary) while taking its objectives, it was to suffer another 175 between 3 p.m. on 9 April and 2 a.m. on 10 April due to heavy German shelling as the battalion worked to consolidate its hold on the newly captured positions. It is not known whether Luck was wounded during the PPCLI’s advance or by subsequent German shelling.
Sydney James Luck is buried in Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension, Bruay-la-Buissière, France.