Private 201645 John Steventon

Killed in Action on Sunday, 27th May 1917, age unknown.
Commemorated on Bay 6 of Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.
Formerly 3988 Worcestershire Regiment.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1671182/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Steventon registered March quarter 1886 in Dudley.

1901 Census
59 Park Lane West, Tipton, Staffs.
Edward Steventon (60, Iron Worker, born Tipton), his wife Julia (57, born Shropshire), and their 7 children: William (31, Iron Boat Tops Mender, born Tipton), Edward (27, Iron Boat Tops Mender, born Tipton), Joseph (25, Metal Turner, born Tipton), Herbert (20, Metal Turner, born Tipton), Gertrude (18, born Tipton), Beatrice (16, Book Binder, born Tipton), and John (15, Iron Plate Driller, born Tipton).

Marriage of John Steventon and Hannah Walker registered June quarter 1908 in Dudley.

1911 Census
42 Coneygree Road, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
John Steventon (25, Moulder in Iron Foundry, born Tipton), his wife Hannah (23, born Tipton), and their 2 children: John (2, born Tipton), and Beatrice (8 months, born Tipton).
The birth of a third child, Hannah J., was registered June quarter 1913 in Dudley.

Personal Data

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/8/10d (4 pounds, 8 shillings and 10 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Hannah, in May 1918. His War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Hannah in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately April 1915.

The Pension's Card for John Steventon shows a pension award (date of decision: 8th January 1919) of £1/6/8d for his widow Hannah, and £1/3/6d for their 3 children, giving a weekly total pension of £2/10/2d (2 pounds, 10 shillings and 2 pence).

Action resulting in his death

In mid-May 1917, 48th (South Midland) Division was transferred from General Rawlinson’s Fourth Army to General Gough’s Fifth Army. This included the 1/7th Worcesters who took up a position about 3 miles South-East of Bullecourt and a mile South of Queant, facing the Hindenburg Line.

Losses during the recently ended Battle of Arras had been heavy, and the policy adopted here was of minimum aggression in order to preserve the troops for later activity. Despite this, fighting patrols were sent out most nights to probe the enemy defences and to maintain an ascendancy over No Man’s Land.

On the night of 27th/28th May, a patrol was sent out about 11.00pm from Point 29 (about 1.5 miles South of Pronville) to search the road running North towards German-held Pronville. Within 150 yards, our patrol ran into a German patrol who had been lying in wait. Being fired upon, our patrol retreated to Post 29, and the German patrol was driven off by our return fire.

5 Other Ranks were wounded, and 4 Other Ranks missing. The CWGC records 2 men of the 1/7th Royal Warwicks were killed on 27th May, and it can be assumed that that was the result of this patrol. The 2 men were Pte. 201645 John Steventon of Tipton, and Pte. 203693 Charles Baker of Cradley Heath; neither of these men have a known grave and both are commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

For more detail, the War Diary 27th May 1917 for 1/7 Worcesters follows:
"Enemy still very active shelling the batteries in rear, with air observation. At 11.pm a fighting patrol under 2/Lt Foster went out from Post 29 to search the road running North from D.21.d. The patrol had gone about 150 yards when it was suddenly heavily fired on from a sunken portion of the road about 50 yards away. Two machine guns and a strong patrol were found waiting for our patrol to approach. The opening of fire was very sudden and very heavy and our patrol retired towards the Post. Post 29 opened fire on the enemy who then retired. Our casualties were 5 Other Ranks wounded and 4 Other Ranks missing. The latter were in all probability wounded and taken prisoners. A patrol sent out immediately after could find no trace of them."

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 18th August 1917
Died for their country
Reported missing is Pte. J. Steventon of 1/7 Worcesters.