At the age of twenty-two, after having his medical examination at Inverell, Sydney enlisted at Armidale NSW in May 1916. He had previously been rejected due to his eyesight. He stated he was born at Blue Nobby Station (near Yetman) and gave his sister Mary’s name as next of kin as his parents were deceased. Sydney was one of twelve volunteers farewelled at Inverell Town Hall in April 1916. They were presented with the Inverell medal and socks from the ladies’ sock committee.
Sydney, a Private with the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 23rd Reinforcement, left Australia for Egypt on the ship RMS Karmala on 3 February 1917. He became ill and was sent to hospital in October 1918, re-joining his unit in December. Sydney returned to Australia and was medically discharged in May 1919. He died in 1962 and was buried at Ashford.
Sydney has his name recorded on the Ashford Honor Roll.