CWG: Flight Officer Walter Stevens

Flight Officer Walter Stevens

Walter James Stevens was born on 29th November 1899, the oldest of three children to James and Elizabeth. James was a labourer in the munitions factory in Faversham, Kent, and this is where Walter and his siblings were born and raised.

Initially attending the council schools, Walter won a scholarship to Wreight’s Grammar School, before gaining work as a clerk at the Shepherd Neame brewery in the town.

From the age of 11, Walter was also an active member of the local United Methodist Church. He was a keen organist, taught at the Sunday School, and played a key role in the Wesley Guild. He was also a sometime member of the St John’s Ambulance, undertaking duties at The Mount Hospital in the town.

When was broke out, Walter was keen to play his part. He enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service, and was sent for training at their air base in Cranwell, Lincolnshire. While on a flight on 11th March 1918, Flight Officer Stevens’ aircraft crashed, and he was killed instantly. He was just 18 years of age.

Walter James Stevens’ body was brought back to Kent: he was laid to rest in the Faversham Borough Cemetery, not fat from his family home. At the funeral, Walter’s senior officers reported the promise he had shown, and that he was close to passing his probationary exams. Two weeks after his burial, a memorial service to him was given at the church to which he had dedicated so much of his young life.

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