Topic: Richard Stevens

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Richard Stevens (Service no. 6/1989) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

Richard John Nicholas Stevens was born on Friday 14th December 1877. He was 7th the child of Capt. James Finch Stevens and Maria Ann (nee Webb) Stevens, of Sydenham, Christchurch.  He was the brother of James (b. 1864), Maria Ann (b. 1865), William Henry (b. 1867), Elizabeth Margaret (b. 1870), Margaret Cecilia (b. 1873), Ann Mary Charlotte (b. 1876), Mary Margaret Gough (b. 1879), John (b. 1881), Henry John Manning (b. 1882), Herbert John Webb (b. 1883) and George Clarence (b. 1885). Their father died on the wreck of the ‘Lizzie Guy’ in 1888.

Richard was a single 35 year old Anglican man 5’ 11 ¼ “tall with a Dark complexion, Brown hair and Grey eyes. He also had a tattoo on his left forearm.   At the time of his enlistment on the 7th January 1915 he was living with his mother at ‘Beach Glen’ 2 Colenso Street, Sumner, and working as a quarryman for Sumner Quarries Christchurch.

On enlistment Richard was assigned to the rank of Private Canterbury Infantry Battalion. After training at Trentham the Battalion departed Wellington on 17th April with HMNZT 21 Willochra or HMNZT 22 Knight Templar or HMNZT 23 Waitomo, and arrived in Egypt on 25th May. On 31st July the Battalion was shipped to the Dardanelles. On 8th August Richard was wounded during the Battle for Chunuk Bair.  He was transferred via the Hospital Ship HS Dongola to the No.15 General Hospital, Alexandria on 14th August.  He became dangerously ill on the 17th August and died of his wounds on the 12th September 1915. He was buried the same day in the Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Grave no. 1577.

Private Richard Stevens was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which were delivered to his next of kin on 18th October 1921.

He is remembered on the Sumner war memorial which was on the corner of Wakefield Avenue and Nayland Street until the building was badly damaged during the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. The building was subsequently demolished. However the plaque was salvaged and in 2017 was installed in Sumner's new library, community centre and museum -  Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.


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Richard Stevens

First Names:Richard
Last Name:Stevens
Place of Birth:Christchurch New Zealand