GENEALOGISTS have discovered relatives of a Pickering soldier who died 100 year ago.

The story of Sidney Baker, an army sapper in the first world war who was one of the ‘Turin Men’ - a group of 15 British soldiers who died in Italy during 1918 and 1919 - was featured in a recent edition of the Gazette & Herald, with an appeal to find his descendants.

Now, Fraser and Fraser, a firm of genealogists and probate researchers, has tracked down Sidney’s great-nephew.

Before the war, Sidney had lived with his parents, William and Mary, on Hall Garth in Pickering and had worked both as a boot dealer’s assistant and as a saddler’s apprentice.

He initially joined the South Lancashire Regiment before transferring to the Royal Engineers and it’s believed he was serving with this unit when he died, on May 2 1919, six months after the war had officially ended, at the age of 32.

Sidney’s great nephew Edward Baker said: “I knew of Sidney, who was my grandfather’s brother, but didn’t know very much about him except that they’d also had a sister and their father had been a tailor in Pickering.

“Some in the family said Sidney had died of flu during the Spanish Influenza epidemic, but my grandfather always said his brother had lost his life in a railway accident, possibly when he was coming back home from the Middle East.”

Edward’s grandfather moved to the London area after the First World War and worked as a solicitor’s clerk.

Fraser and Fraser looked into the matter following an appeal by ‘Away from the Western Front’, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of some of the conflict’s lesser-known campaigns.

Away from the Western Front project director Lyn Edmonds said: “We had already found out there was a military hospital in Turin that had been established to treat casualties from campaigns such as that in Salonika in Greece.

"We discovered that almost all of the men had died from illnesses, diseases or accidents and not as the result of battlefield injuries.”

In November, service of commemoration was held in the Turin cemetery. In addition to being commemorated there, Sidney’s name appears on the memorial in Pickering.