Steavenson, Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry (No. 85756)

Steavenson, Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry (Towry)

Flying Officer       

No. 85756, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died in service on Monday 1 September 1941 (aged 55)

Buried:

Kirk Maughold (St. Maughold) Churchyard, Isle of Man (East Boundary)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Groomsport and District War Memorial

Groomsport Parish Church of Ireland Church

BIOGRAPHY

Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry Steavenson was born on 17 September 1885 in Madras, India and he was the only son of Joseph and Jeannie Steavenson (nee Weir).  His mother Jeannie was born in Lisnabreeny, Castlereagh and his father Joseph, who was born in Liverpool, was appointed Registrar, Taxing Master, Receiver and Commissioner of the High Court in Madras.

In 1912 his sister Elizabeth Dorothy Patricia Steavenson (1885 -1981) married Lieutenant Edmund de Warenne Waller, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.

In 1901 Towry Steavenson was a pupil at Malew, Isle of Man and after leaving school he joined the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Louth Militia) as a Second Lieutenant.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1905 and when the old 6th Royal Irish Rifles was disbanded in 1908 under the Haldane Scheme he transferred to the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. He moved to the 4th Royal Irish Rifles and then to the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers.  In January 1915 he completed a course of musketry in Dublin and went to France on 2 May 1915. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 13 October 1915 and attached to the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.  On 12 April 1916 he was placed on the sick list and on 23 April 1916 he was taken off the strength of the Battalion.  Later he served with the 3rd Echelon, General Headquarters (GHQ), Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF).

In 1917 Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry Steavenson and Violet Carmen Tighe Rea were married.  Violet Rea’s brother, Lieutenant Vivian Trevor Tighe Rea, died of wounds sustained on active service during the Great War.

After the Great War ended Towry Steavenson and his wife went to India where he worked on a tea plantation and on 31 May 1921 his war medals were sent to Sondura, Kalain PO, Cachar, Assam.  Their daughter, Joy E. Steavenson, was born in 1926 and the family spent time in the United Kingdom as well as in India.  They lived at Mendoza, 69 Marlborough Park South, Malone Road, Belfast (1924); 76 Clifton Road, Bangor (1936); 128 Seacliff Road, Bangor (1938); 15 Ballymaconnell Road, Bangor and Highgate, Middlesex.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry Steavenson joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and on 1 September 1941 he died at Noble’s Hospital, Maughold in the Isle of Man.  His English effects were valued at £4,166.  Flying Officer Alexander Arthur Fenwich Towry Steavenson was 55 years old when he died and he was buried in Kirk Maughold (St. Maughold) Churchyard, Isle of Man in the same grave as his parents.  His father Joseph died on 3 September 1910 (aged 68) and his mother Jeannie died on 24 December 1934 (aged 88).

Flying Officer Steavenson (No. 85756) is commemorated on Groomsport and District War Memorial and in Groomsport Parish Church of Ireland Church.