Stevenson Henry (Harry)

Stevenson Henry (Harry)

Sapper

No. 405119, 2nd Field Company, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force

Died of disease on Wednesday 7 May 1947 (aged 53)

Buried:

Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Commemorated:

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

Biography 

There is a headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor (Section 1C) which bears the following inscription:

ERECTED BY JEMIMA STEVENSON

IN LOVING MEMORY OF HER HUSBAND JAMES STEVENSON

WHO DIED 30TH NOV 1940 AGED 74 YRS.

ALSO, MY DEAR SON HARRY WHO WAS LAID TO REST IN CANADA

7TH MAY 1947 FROM WOUNDS RECEIVED IN 1914 – 1918 WAR.

JEMIMA STEVENSON DEARLY LOVED WIFE OF ABOVE DIED 16TH JAN 1966.

ALSO, THEIR SON JAMSIE DIED IN CANADA 3RD NOV 1966.

ALSO BELOVED ELDEST DAUGHTER MINNIE STEVENSON DIED 14TH MAR 1976.

‘THY WILL BE DONE’.

Clearly, Harry Stevenson’s death falls outside the cutoff date of 31 August 1921 for CWGC commemoration as a First World War casualty.  Sometimes, locally established organising committees decided to include on local war memorials the names of war veterans who died after that date.  The reason why Harry Stevenson is included on this website is because of the inscription on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery.

Harry Stevenson was born on 7 July 1893 at Ballyholme, Bangor and he was a son of James and Jemima Stevenson (nee McGowan, sometimes Magowan) who were married on 26 February 1889 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  James Stevenson, a labourer from Ballymagee, Bangor was a son of Henry Stevenson, a labourer.  Jemima McGowan from Ballymagee was a daughter of Joseph McGowan, a butcher.

Henry Stevenson worked as a general labourer, and he and Jemima Stevenson (nee McGowan) had eight children:

Mary (Minnie, born 22 May 1889 at New Street, Bangor)

James (Jamsie, born 25 July 1891 at Ballymagee, Bangor)

Henry (Harry, born 7 July 1893 at Ballyholme, Bangor)

Jane McKeag (Jennie, born 16 July 1895 in Ballyholme)

Jemima (born 29 September 1897 in Ballyholme)

Samuel Francis (born 12 January 1901 at Ballyholme, Bangor)

John (born 12 July 1904 at Sunbeam Cottage, Ballyholme; died as the result of spina bifida 28 September 1904)

Margaret (born 4 March 1910 at Groomsport Road, Bangor)

In 1911 the Stevenson family lived at 10 Groomsport Road, Bangor.

In civilian life Harry Stevenson worked as a tailor before and after he moved to Canada around 1912/1913.  He enlisted on 15 May 1915 at Toronto and joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force as a Private (No. 405119) and was posted to the 35th Infantry Battalion, later overseas as a Sapper with the 2nd Field Company in May 1916.  In his attestation papers it was noted that he was 5 feet 9½ inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair.

His addresses in Toronto were 80 Givens Street, 18 Talbot Street, and 12 Jerome Street.

Henry Stevenson served in France and was admitted to 23 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) on 2 September 1918 with a gunshot wound to his left arm.

His teeth were examined in England on 19 May 1919 when it was determined that he needed two fillings and 18 extractions.

He was demobilised on 6 July 1919 at Toronto, and it was noted that he had a scar on his back left shoulder.  His general health and physical condition were deemed to be ‘good’.  The gunshot wound he sustained had caused ‘no disability’.

Records indicate that his brother James lived at 222 Royce Avenue, Toronto.

In 1921 Henry Stevenson (aged 27) was living at 80 Givens Street with his aunt, Martha McGowan (aged 60).

Henry Stevenson, a tailor (aged 34) and Gertrude Amelia Smith, a bookbinder (aged 27) were married on 6 June 1928 in Toronto.  She was a daughter of Henry and Susan Smith (nee Robinson).

In 1931 Henry and Gertrude Amelia Stevenson (nee Smith) were living at 12 Jerome Street, Toronto with their year-old son, Donald Ralph Stevenson.  There is evidence that they had another child.

When Henry Stevenson died of bronchogenic carcinoma (right lung) on 7 May 1947 in Toronto Western Hospital, the Stevenson family was living at 203 Brookdale Avenue, Toronto.  Up until September 1946 he had been working as a tailor with T. Eaton Company.  Again, because of the date of his death, his name is not included in the list of 315 casualties named on the T. Eaton Company First World War Memorial Plaque.

Harry Stevenson was buried on 9 May 1947 in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto.

Sapper Henry (Harry) Stevenson (No. 405119) may have been exposed to gas poisoning during his active service, and if so, that might account in some way for the wording inscribed on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery:

ALSO, MY DEAR SON HARRY WHO WAS LAID TO REST IN CANADA

7TH MAY 1947 FROM WOUNDS RECEIVED IN 1914 – 1918 WAR.