Sidney Kaye was born in 1931 in Manchester, England as Sidney Cleebaner. His family was Jewish Orthodox and of Eastern European descent. The family attended synagogue in Manchester. Sidney did not recall anti-Semitism before the war. However, he remembered the war’s affect on him and his family: the sound of sirens, listening to Churchill’s speeches on the radio, the air raid shelter in their garden.
Sidney’s parents evacuated the children to a small seaside resort town to escape the bombings (which were weekly at this point in Manchester). The host family served them non-kosher food for their first meal there. Sidney announced they could not eat it and the family did not want to keep them there. His mother came for the Sidney and his sister a week later.
The family had relatives in the United States so in 1940 they immigrated with their mother. While waiting for a convoy, the ships in the port were bombed extensively for several days. In the United States they eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio. His mother became a housemother in Bellefair, a home for disturbed Jewish children.
The family left the United States in 1944 to return to England, and they reunited with Sidney’s father who was in the Royal Army Paid Core. Sidney began competing in sports at 16 years of age. He recalls that he had to “twice as good” due to anti-Semitism.
Sidney became an accountant and retired early. He played tennis competitively. Sidney married in 1961 and had two children.