Sergeant Frederick William Stevens

Frederick Stevens © Surrey Advertiser ancestry.co.uk

Thank you to Wendy Shuttleworth for this research and to Patricia Brazier for further detail.

Frederick William Stevens was born in Blindley Heath in 1895, the son of army sergeant Frederick William and Louisa Elizabeth.

In 1901, he was living with his mother and brothers, Henry and Herbert in Hookstyle, Godstone.

In 1911 he was living on a farm with Harry & Hannah Roffey helping on the farm, the Homestead, South Godstone, Surrey.  His occupation was as a waggoner boy.

He enlisted in Guildford to “C” Company, 1st / 3rd Battalion of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, number L/10305.

Frederick died on 16th January 1918. His parents were living at 2 Jubilee Terrace, Dorking.

The Surrey Advertiser wrote on the 25th January 1918.

“One of “The Little Contemptibles.”

A Mons and Somme Hero

The funeral of Sergt. Frederick William Stevens, of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment took place with military honours, on Monday afternoon, at Dorking, whither his mother has recently removed from Godstone. Previously a Territorial, deceased, at the age of 18, joined the 1st Battalion of the Queen’s.

When the war broke out he proceeded with his battalion to France; this was on Aug 17th 1914, and he was promoted to Lance-Sergt on the field. He went through the Battle of Mons, but in November of the same year was invalided home with appendicitis.

He returned to France in February 1915, going through the Battle of the Somme and being slightly wounded twice. Later he was made Bomb-Sergeant. He was one of the 36 1st Queen’s who carried out the successful bombing raid on German trenches, when the little party had only one officer slightly wounded.

In December last he returned home with trench foot and was in hospital for four months. He was sent to Shoreham Convalescent Camp, and subsequently returned to duty at Chatham.

A fortnight ago Sergt. Stevens was home on three days leave, his father, Sergt. F. W. Stevens, also in the Queen’s, being fortunate to obtain leave at the same time. On Jan. 8th last, when deceased returned to duty at Chatham, he seemed in good health, except for a face ache, but a few days later he was found unconscious, and admitted to hospital. He never regained consciousness, and died on Wednesday, the primary cause of death being pneumonia.

Deceased, who was 25 years of age, was employed on leaving school, by Mr. Henry Wandsworth, of South Godstone, and afterwards at Marden Park. This is the second loss Sergt. And Mrs. Stevens have suffered during the war; their second son; Henry George, being another victim of the “Queen Mary.” Another son, Herbert Charles, is in the Navy, and is serving in the Mediterranean. They all come of good fighting stock; their father, who is now doing duty at the Recruiting Office, St. Nicholas’ Hall, Guildford, has been in the Army since 1886. He served through the South African War, and in Sept., 1914 was called up with National Reserve.

The body of Sergt. Stevens was conveyed from Chatham by S.E. and C. Railway, on Monday, and at Dorking Station was met by a firing party from the Depot at Stoughton Barracks, in charge of Sergt. Buckley : four N.C.O’s of the Battalion also acting as bearers. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and, preceded by the firing party, with arms reversed, was followed by Sergt.-Major Johnson, Sergt.-Major McCardy, Sergt.-Major Wearing, Sergts. Kelly, Wollerston, Avis, Horn, King and Evans from the depot and by Sergts. Vauchan, Luff, Hulyer, Bailey, Coomber, and Turner, representing the 3rd Battalion at Sittingbourne.

The service at the cemetery was conducted by the Rev. G. Adams, and at the close the usual three volleys were fired over the grave and the “Last Post” sounded by a bugler from the Depot. The mourners included the bereaved parents and members of the family.

Beautiful wreaths were sent, with deep sympathy, from the Sergeants’ Mess at Stoughton Barracks, and Sittingbourne , and another from “Mum, Dad, and family” had these words attached:-

The Fight was hard till victory was won. But the crowning glory is, Well done, my son.

Born Blindley Heath, Surrey
Lived Godstone, Surrey
Son of Frederick William and Louisa Elizabeth Stevens
Brother of Henry George Stevens
Regiment “C” Company. 1st/3rd Battalion. Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number L/10305
Date of Death 16th January 1918
Place of Death Chatham, Kent
Cause of Death Died of pneumonia
Age 23
Cemetery Dorking Cemetery, Dorking