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  • HMS Warrior 1905
Person Details
18 Jan 1893
Sherwood, Nottingham
Walter James was the son of Walter James Stevenson of 1 Great Eastern Terrace Great Eastern Street Nottingham (CWGC) It is likely that in 1891 Walter James snr., a lace maker, was a widower with a seven year old daughter, Alice, living on Canal Street, Nottingham. Alice may have been born in 1885 (J/A/S Basford/Gent). Also in the household was Annie Atkin (27) married, who was a housekeeper, and a boarder, Fanny Thorpe (68), a widow who was working as a lace mender. Walter James Stevenson jnr. was born in 1893 (J/F/M Basford, mother's name Atkin). In 1901 Walter (41) a cab driver, and Annie (Stevenson, age 37), were living at 196 Sherwood Street, Nottingham, with the children, Alice (17) a machinist, and Walter (8). Alice probably married George Henry Hill in 1901 (O/N/D Nottingham) and there is a record on the 1911 Census of them living at 6 West Court, North Sherwood Street, Nottingham. George (28) was a mattress maker while Alice (27) was an ironer in the blouse trade. They had had three children of whom only two had survived: George Henry (6) and Frank (2). It is probable that the letter written by Walter jnr. in 1914 to his 'dear sister and brother, Harry and Alice' (see 'extra information') was to his sister and brother-in-law and with a closing reference to their children. Walter jnr. married Lilian (Lily) Mather (b. 14 May 1894) on 26 April 1916 (A/M/J Nottingham), five weeks before his death in action. However, it was his sister, Alice (Hill) of Great Eastern Terrace who was notified of Walter's death, suggesting that Walter had not updated details of his next of kin. It is likely that Lily married secondly John W Rippon in 1920 (A/M/J Nottingham). There is an entry on the 1939 England & Wales Register of a Lilian Rippon b. 14 May 1894 and her husband John (b. 2 November 1898) living at 56 Kingston Street, Nottingham, with their two children, Frank H. (b. 24 December 1922) and Eileen (b. 17 March 1927). Lilian Rippon died in 1970 (A/M/J Basford, DOB 14 May 1894).
He was a fishmonger when he joined the Royal Navy in 1911.
31 May 1916
2867340 - CWGC Website
K/10726 (Dev)
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Warrior Royal Navy
Walter joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class on 2 November 1911 on a 12 year engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Vivid II, 2 March 1911-31 July 1911 (Stoker 2nd Class), HMS Prince George, 1 August 1911-3 June 1912 (Stoker 1st Class, 1 April 1912); Vivid II, 4 June 1912-4 November 1912; HMS Lancaster, 5 November 1912-24 March 1913; Vivid I, 25 May 1913-30 June 1913; HMS Warrior, 1 July 1913-14 February 1916 (3 days cells) 18 February 1916-31 May 1916. Service record annotated: ‘DD [Discharged Dead] killed in action on 31 May 1916. NP. 3012/16) Walter's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. At Jutland on May 31st 1916, Warrior was heavily damaged by German shells, which caused large fires and heavy flooding, although her engines continued running for long enough to allow her to withdraw to the west. She was taken in tow at 9pm by the seaplane tender HMS Engadine. In heavy seas, the Warrior began taking on huge quantities of water which threatened to inundate her and also drag down the towing vessel. Engadine took off Warrior’s surviving crew of 743 (Stevenson was one of 67 Warrior crewmen to die in the action). She was abandoned at 08:25 a.m. on 1 June, when her upper deck was only four feet above the water. She later sank.
Transcript of letter (see four photographs): (p1) HMS Warrior at Malta 1st Aug. 1914. To my dear Sister & Brother, Harry & Alice. I have a great pleasure to write to you hoping you are both quite well as it leaves me the sane at present. As I write you full well know (p2) we are on the verge of war it is a funny thing to talk about but there it is. It seems so funny but you understand me if I say probably this may be the last time I may write till after the war if it should be declared and if God grants me to see it through. I cannot, and must not be afraid of Death as that is our trade same as the Gladiators in the arena in Rome. (p3) England is trying hard for Peace but so far there is very little hopes. Our two allies France and Russia are ready to strike against Germany, Italy & Austria and of course being in Alliance with France we must strike and if it does come off it will be the greatest war, and the greatest massacre ever known (p4) in the annals of History. Our ship and the remainder out here are all ready at a moment’s notice. I expect there is panic in Nottm and elsewhere. But let us look for Peace and Goodwill to all men. Hoping the children are well God Bless them. I close your Sailor Brother Walter xxxxx England now expects every man to do his duty.’ Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 10 June 1916: ‘Stevenson. Killed in action, May 31st, in the North Sea, Walter James Stevenson, 1st class stoker of HMS Warrior, the beloved husband of Lily Stevenson (nee Mather). I miss you and mourn you in silence unseen, and dwell on the happiness that might have been. From his sorrowing wife.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) In memoriam published 31st May 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “STEVENSON. – In memory of my dear husband, Walter James Stevenson, 1st-class Stoker, who was killed in action May 31st, 1916, on H.M.S. Warrior in the Jutland Battle. Gone and forgotten by some you may be, but your watery grave is still sacred to me, asleep in the deep. – From his devoted wife, Lily.” In memoriam published 31st May 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “STEVENSON. – In memory of my dear husband, Walter James Stevenson, aged 23, first-class stoker, who was killed in action on H.M.S. Warrior in the Jutland battle, May 31st, 1916. 'Tis sweet to remember him who once was here, although he is absent he is just as dear. Asleep in the deep. – From his loving wife Lily.” Above in memoriam are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebookpages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on


  • HMS Warrior 1905
    - HMS Warrior 1905
  •  Letter from Walter Stevenson to his family 1/8/1914.
    Courtesy of Fliss Elder who is related to Stevenson. - Letter from Walter Stevenson to his family 1/8/1914.
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