No. 40847, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 25)
No known grave
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 138 to 140 & 162 to 162 A & 163 A)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards
In some records his surname is spelt Steenson.
Thomas Stevenson was born on 9 January 1891 in South Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Thomas and Agnes Stevenson (nee McDowell) who were married on 22 December 1888 in Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards. Thomas Stevenson (born 21 January 1868) from South Street, Newtownards was a son of Thomas Stevenson, a weaver. Agnes McDowell (born 20 September 1867) from Wallace’s Street, Newtownards was a daughter of Francis McDowell, a weaver.
The Stevenson family lived at 67 South Street, Newtownards.
Thomas Stevenson Senior worked as a woollen weaver and he and Agnes had four children:
Robert McMillen (born 21 December 1889 in South Street, Newtownards)
Thomas (born 9 January 1891 in South Street, Newtownards)
Sarah Elizabeth (born 29 October 1899 in South Street, Newtownards)
Martha (born 7 July 1901 in South Street, Newtownards)
Their father, Thomas Stevenson Senior, died of tuberculosis on 26 June 1907.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Thomas Stevenson worked as a grocer’s assistant. When he enlisted in Antrim he joined the North Irish Horse as a Trooper (No. 1828) and was subsequently transferred to the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 25th Brigade of the 8th Division.
Lance Corporal Thomas Stevenson was posted as missing in action at Westhoek Ridge on 16 August 1917 and one year later, in July 1918, it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action. His brother and sister-in-law, Robert Stevenson (a butter maker) and Ellen Stevenson (nee McKee), who lived in Cleveland, Ohio, USA placed a For King and Country notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
However long our life shall be,
Whatever land we view,
Whatever joy or grief be ours
Till death we’ll think of you.
So too did his widowed mother and his two sisters, Sarah and Martha. Their notice contained the verse:
Thou hast fought a noble battle,
Bravely and nobly did thy best;
All your troubles are now ended,
Sleep, brave hero, sleep and rest
No more we’ll clasp thy loving hand
Nor hear thy voice now stilled,
Till we reach the land where you’ll proudly stand
With earth’s heroes – in action killed.
Lance Corporal Thomas Stevenson has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards.