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Remembered Today:

Pte Henry Stevens died 21/12/1917


christine liava'a

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christine liava'a

Pte Henry STEVENS, 15668 Royal Defence Corps Age 52, who died on 21.12.17. Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery, Hants, UK

Name: STEVENS, HENRY

Initials: H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Defence Corps

Age: 52

Date of Death: 21/12/1917

Service No: 15668

Additional information: Husband of Constance Stevens, of 142 Dukes Road, St. Denys, Southampton

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: B. 3. 139.

Cemetery: SOUTHAMPTON (HOLLYBROOK) CEMETERY

Cemetery: SOUTHAMPTON (HOLLYBROOK) CEMETERY

Country: United Kingdom

Locality: Hampshire

Historical Information: During the two world wars, the United Kingdom became an island fortress used for training troops and launching land, sea and air operations around the globe. There are more than 170,000 Commonwealth war graves in the United Kingdom, many being those of servicemen and women killed on active service, or who later succumbed to wounds. Others died in training accidents, or because of sickness or disease. The graves, many of them privately owned and marked by private memorials, will be found in more than 12,000 cemeteries and churchyards. Southampton was No 1 Port during the First World War and military hospitals were established in the University buildings, in the Highfield Institution and at Shirley Warren. During the Second World War, 4.5 million tons of military equipment passed through Southampton docks and parts of the prefabricated harbours used at Arromanches during the Normandy invasion were made there. For a while, Southampton was also base to the 14th Major Port Transportation Corps of the United States Army. Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery contains burials of both wars and a memorial to the missing. The cemetery has a First World War plot near the main entrance containing most of the 113 graves from this period. Behind this plot is the Hollybrook Memorial which commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces whose graves are not known, many of whom were lost in transports or other vessels torpedoed or mined in home waters. It also bears the names of those who were lost or buried at sea, or who died at home but whose bodies could not be recovered for burial. Most of the 186 Second World War burials are in a separate war graves plot. In addition to the Commonwealth war graves, the cemetery contains 67 war graves of other nationalities, many of them German.

No. of Identified Casualties: 364

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christine liava'a

ROYAL DEFENCE CORPS

The Royal Defence Corps was formed in August 1917 from the Home Service Garrison Battalions of 18 Regiments. It was made up of old soldiers who were beyond the age set for combatant service in the First World War, unlike the younger, volunteer soldiers at the Front. The Corps was similar in some ways to the Home Guard of the Second World War. Its job was to guard railways, tunnels, roads and ports, thus relieving other troops for front line service.

Formed in August 1917 from the Home Service Garrison Bns of various Regiments (as shown below).

1st Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Royal Scots.

2nd Bn. 1st (Home Service) Garrison Bn Buffs.

3rd Bn. 3rd (Home Service) Garrison Bn King’s.

4th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Lincolnshire Regt.

5th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Devonshire Regt.

6th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Suffolk Regt.

7th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn West Yorkshire Regt.

8th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn East Yorkshire Regt.

9th Bn. 1st (Homer Service) Garrison Bn Leicestershire Regt.

10th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Yorkshire Regt.

11th Bn. 3rd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Cheshire Regt.

12th Bn. 5th (Home Service) Garrison Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

13th Bn. 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Bn Northamptonshire Regt.

14th Bn. 1st (Home Service) Garrison Bn Royal Berkshire Regt.

15th Bn. 1st (Home Service) Garrison Bn Queen’s Own.

16th Bn. 1st (Home Service) Garrison Bn Middlesex Regt.

17th Bn. 2nd (Home Service Garrison Bn North Staffordshire Regt.

18th Bn. 1st (Home Service) Garrison Bn Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

So which battalion of the Royal Defence Corps was Henry Stevens in? And what had he been in previously?

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Henry Stevens was formerly No. 22049 in the Hampshire Regiment according to SDGW. Born, enlisted and lived in Southampton.

Interestingly, he does not appear in the original CWGC register for that cemetery published in 1930. This means that he was a later addition when the error was notified to them.

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Here is the headstone for Henry Stevens together with the cross of remembrance that I placed there for him this morning. The inscription at the bottom reads:

"Also Of Constance Wife Of Above Died May 3rd 1934 R I P"

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A panoramic of Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery taken from Henry Stevens gravesite. The cemetery is opposite Southampton General Hospital.

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Not connected but of interest as I've personally not seen many - one of the Polish graves in the Second World War Plot at the cemetery.

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This is the standard WW2 Polish style headstone.

There are thousands all over the UK - mostly Polish Air Force but also many soldiers (like this one) and seamen.

The CWGC details for this man are...

PIETRASZKIEWCZ, Soldier, TEODOR, Polish Army.

28th May 1943. Age 55. Plot M Row 12 Grave 63

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christine liava'a

Because of his age at his death-52, therefore born 1865, Henry Stevens should be included in the censuses for 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901,and 1911

and having lived all his life in Southampton, various records should be available from there

Looking in the 1881 census, there are 3 definite possibilities

STEVENS, Henry Son <1865> Hamp Hamp

STEVENS, Henry Inmt <1865> Hamp Hamp

STEVENS, Henry G. Son <1865> Hamp Hamp

There are also other Henry Stevens's , but not with 2 Hampshire entries

although this looks promising

STEVENS, Henry Bord <1865> Hamp Lond

Henry 1 lived with his parents on a farm

Dwelling: Cottage

Census Place: Compton, Hampshire, England

Source: FHL Film 1341301 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 1234 Folio 92 Page 6

Marr Age Sex Birthplace

James STEVENS M 57 M Bentworth, Hampshire, England

Rel: Head

Occ: Shepherd

Ann STEVENS M 60 F Dummer, Hampshire, England

Rel: Wife

George STEVENS U 18 M Winsdale, Hampshire, England

Rel: Son

Occ: Shepherd

Henry STEVENS 16 M Popham, Hampshire, England

Rel: Son

Occ: Farm Servant

Henry 2 was living in a workhouse

Institution: "Workhouse"

Census Place: Holy Rood, Hampshire, England

Source: FHL Film 1341297 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 1215 Folio 8 Page 17

Henry STEVENS 16 M Hampshire, England

Rel: Inmate

Occ: Scholar

Henry G was living with his family in Alton

Dwelling: Bow St

Census Place: Alton, Hampshire, England

Source: FHL Film 1341305 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 1246 Folio 49 Page 24

Marr Age Sex Birthplace

Henry STEVENS M 44 M Alton, Hampshire, England

Rel: Head

Occ: Bricklayer

Mary STEVENS M 43 F Holybourne, Hampshire, England

Rel: Wife

Eliza A. STEVENS U 19 F Alton, Hampshire, England

Rel: Daur

Henry G. STEVENS 16 M Alton, Hampshire, England

Rel: Son

Occ: Grocer Assistant

Albert J. STEVENS 6 M Alton, Hampshire, England

Rel: Son

Occ: Scholar

Edith STEVENS 3 F Alton, Hampshire, England

Rel: Daur

Henry the boarder in London was living in St Pancras

Dwelling: 253 Hampstead Road

Census Place: St Pancras, London, Middlesex, England

Source: FHL Film 1341038 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 0176 Folio 3 Page 2

Marr Age Sex Birthplace

Louisa CRAWFORD W 48 F London, London, Middlesex, England

Rel: Head

Emily STOKES U 19 F London, London, Middlesex, England

Rel: Neice

Occ: Machinist

Sarah KEEN U 16 F Guildford, Surrey, England

Rel: Serv

Occ: General Servant

James MC LOY U 30 M Belfast, Ireland

Rel: Boarder

Occ: Upholsterer

Henry STEVENS U 16 M Hythe, Hampshire, England

Rel: Boarder

Occ: Corn Dealer

These are the most likely , but which is he?

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christine liava'a

Using the fact that his wife's name is Constance,and searching FreeBMD for a marriage, we get

Marriages Mar 1893

Stevens Henry Southampton 2c 12

Brown Constance Southampton 2c 12

Southampton 2c is

Southampton

Created 1st July 1837.

Sub-districts : Southampton; Southampton Eastern; Southampton Western

GRO volumes : VII (1837-51); 2c (1852-1930).

Bitterne (from 1894), Botley (from 1925), Burlesdon (from 1925), Chilworth (from 1925), Eastleigh (from 1925), Hamble le Rice (from 1925), Hedge End (from 1925), Hound (from 1925), Itchen (from 1925), Millbrook (from 1925), North Stoneham (from 1925), Portswood (from 1909), St. Mary Extra (from 1925), Shirley (from 1909), Sholling (from 1925), Southampton, South Stoneham (from 1925), West End (from 1925).

Registers now in Southampton and Romsey districts.

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Another little clue is the little memorial below for flowers that forms part of the same grave. Inscribed are the names Harry and Ernest. Was Ernest the name of Henry's brother or were these his children or other relatives?

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christine liava'a

More likely to be his children, I should think, considering his age

There is an Ernest Stevens born Southampton 1898

Births Sep 1898

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stevens Ernest Joseph Southampton 2c 11

and a couple of Henry Stevens born Southampton, 1894 and 1898

Births Sep 1894

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stevens Henry James Southampton 2c 18

Births Dec 1898

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STEVENS Henry Frank Southampton 2c 35

the 1901 census should clarify this

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Christina,

I am having a great deal of fun with this one!! So far I have a Henry, Ernest and a Harry living together but Henrys age is wrong by 16 years. Option 2 is a Henry and an Ernest but no Harry again Henry's age is different out by 7 years.

I will keep trying but this is not an easy one with.

Ali

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