Sydney & Winifred Hunnisett of Eastbourne

Syd 1925
Syd - 1925

Sydney Harold Hunnisett, the elder son of Jonathan and Edith, was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, on 27 April 1914. He went to Willowfield Central School, was a Patrol Leader in the 18th Eastbourne scout troop and played for the Phoenix Cricket Club. In his youth he was a keen sportsman, taking an interest in boxing, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming and sailing. He and Derek, his brother, were founder members of the Artisans Sailing Club and built or renovated several sailing dinghies including his own, the 'Coleen Bawn'.

Syd 1932
Syd - 1932

He became an electrician and eventually worked for Bobby & Co, a department store in Eastbourne, until World War II. During the war he served in the Home Guard but then, having applied to join the navy, he was drafted into the Royal Air Force in June 1941, where he worked on aircraft electrics. In 1943 he trained to become a service commando and in July sailed for Sicily as part of the invasion force. From there they moved north into Italy where he, and most of his platoon, caught infective hepatitis and was eventually returned to England in February 1944. See separate page about Syd's wartime service.

Syd & Win's wedding in 1944
Wedding - 1944

Winifred Evelyn Winchester, elder daughter of Ernest and Marjorie, was born in Wimbledon, Surrey, on 25 February 1921 and baptised at St Matthew's, Redhill on 15 May. Her father was a leading fireman and Winifred grew up living in the fire station flats. During World War II she worked for the London Fire Brigade.

Sydney's sister Dot had married a fireman who was stationed in Wimbledon and it was while visiting her that he met Winifred. On 1 September 1944 Sydney married Winifred at Holy Trinity church in Wimbledon (his brother was later to marry her sister). After the war they bought a house in Eastbourne (378 Seaside) and Sydney returned to his old job at Bobby's, which was eventually taken over by Debenham's. They had two children; Peter and David.

During the late 50's and early 60's Sydney spent a number of years as the scoutmaster of the 2nd Eastbourne troop. In 1965 the family moved to Lower Willingdon, but towards the end of the 60's Sydney began to suffer from bronchial asthma and after a few years he had to retire early due to poor health. He suffered from emphysema until his death from a heart attack on 5 June 1975. He died in St Mary's Hospital, Eastbourne, and was cremated at Langney.

After Sydney died Winifred sold the house and moved to a bungalow in Langney. However she soon moved to another bungalow back in Willingdon, then a flat in Polegate and eventually a sheltered flat in Eastbourne. Winifred died of lung cancer in Eastbourne General Hospital on 18 September 1993 after a short illness and was also cremated at Langney.