CWG: Corporal William Stevens

Corporal William Stevens

William Charles Stevens was born in Wells in 1884. The eldest child of Alfred and Susan, William was one of eleven children. Alfred worked at the local paper mill, while William became a labourer, and found work as a stonemason.

William seemed keen to improve his prospects, however; he enlisted in the army at the start of 1903, serving in the Royal Field Artillery for a period of four years, before being demobbed to the reserves.

On Christmas Day 1907, William married Minnie Bailey; the census four years later gives the young couple as living in their home city. William, by now, was labouring on the railway, and the census shows, they had had a child, who had sadly passed away.

War was looming, and Gunner Stevens was recalled to duty in August 1914. Quickly posted overseas with the 23rd Brigade, he fell ill with myalgia and was shipped home to recover towards the end of the year.

Sent back to the front in 1915, William was promoted to Corporal and transferred to the 51st (Howitzer) Brigade. Sadly, his ‘tremble’ returned and he was sent back to England in October 1915. By this point, Minnie had given birth to their second child, a little girl they called Lilian.

Corporal Stevens’ condition continued, and he was medically discharged in March 1916. No further records exist, but it seems that he finally succumbed to the condition later that year. He passed away on 2nd November 1916, aged 32 years old.

William Charles Stevens lies at peace in the cemetery of his home town, Wells in Somerset.


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