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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

William Stephenson


Salfordian

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Can anyone find more information on William Stephenson than what I have got. Maybe Army record?

Private William W Stephenson, 1st/5th Battalion Cheshire Regiment. Died 28/03/1918.

Buried at Roclincourt Military Cemetery, Roclincourt is a village a little to the east of the road from Arras to Lens. Take the N 17 from Arras until the junction of this road and the D 60 (first CWGC sign here). Travel along the D 60 into Roclincourt village, for approximately one kilometre, to a right turn (direction St Nicholas). Take this road for approximately 175 metres to a lane on the right. The cemetery lies 100 metres away at the foot of this lane.

The French troops who held this front before March 1916 made a military cemetery (now removed), on the south-west side of which the present Commonwealth cemetery was made. It was begun by the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions in April 1917, and contains many graves of 9 April, the first day of the Battles of Arras. It continued in use, as a front-line cemetery, until October 1918 and after the Armistice graves, mostly from the battlefield north of Roclincourt, were brought into Plot IV, Row F. Roclincourt Military Cemetery contains 916 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 32 of them unidentified. There are also four German war graves. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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Hi Salfordian

You haven't quoted his Service Number which is 240805, age at death 19yrs. Son of Dora and Robert Stephenson of Winnington, Northwich, Cheshire.

CWGC site. Will look on Ancestry for more info. MIC Card on Ancestry with additional number of 2890 same Regt. PM sent

Regards, Barry

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Hi all

Can someone send Salfordian a pic. of the MIC Card, my technical ability is not available (never was really)

Regards, Barry

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Hi all

Can someone send Salfordian a pic. of the MIC Card, my technical ability is not available (never was really)

Regards, Barry

Ditto SDGW lookup....

Ian

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The 1/5th Chesires were part of the 56th London Division.

On 28th March 1918 the division was in the line between Oppy and Gavrelle to the North East of Arras (Roclincourt was just a few miles behind that frontline). The major German offensive on the Somme of 21st March had just about run its course so they launch a new 'Mars Offensive' on the 28th with the aim of capturing Arras and then Vimy Ridge. The 56th along with 3 other divisions bore brunt of that attack.

Private Stephenson was almost certainly a casualty of that battle. My post Mars Offensive 28th March 1918 gives details of the battle and shows the disposition of the Chesires.

Bob

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SDGW

William W Stephenson

Cheshire Regiment 1/5th Battalion

Born Winnington, Cheshire

Enlisted Northwich, Cheshire

Died of Wounds 28/03/1918

France & Flanders

Garry

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Presumably the man commemorated on the Brunner Mond & Co war memorial at Winnington and , possibly, the W Stephenson on the memorial at St Helen's Church, Northwich

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  • 6 years later...

Did his parents sign for him to join underage? Was that done in WW1? Certainly no medical officer could fail to note his obvious youth & question his age. Maybe a blind eye was turned by all in the rush to get men signed up. Since his MIC shows not 1914-15 Star he was at least kept home til 1916 so could've been 17 or older when sent to France. A sad all too qucik end to his life. RIP.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest jonb590

I really know very little about him, all I know was told to me by my late mother and grandmother (who would have been his sister in law) so it was all third hand. The impression I got was that he "ran away" and joined the army very much against his parents wishes at the age of 15, as his D.O.B is 1899 that would make the photo 1914.

I visited his grave a few weeks ago, very moving. Would love to know more about him.

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