Remembering those who fought in the Great War.

William Stevenson

In 1914, William, the eldest of four siblings, was an apprentice with J. G. Kincaid Engineering in Greenock, He joined the Howe Battalion as a machine gunner and trained at the Crystal Palace, London.  Subsequently, he was dispatched to the Dardanelles. Sick, he returned to the UK. On recovery he spent the rest of the war as a gunner in the Merchant Navy on Atlantic convoys. 

He completed his studies in 1921 and joined the Ben Line where his brother was now a Master; that company shipped to the orient.  On September 1st, 1923, his ship was in Yokohama Harbour when the great Kanto earthquake hit, the largest in recorded Japanese history.  Notwithstanding the immense devastation and loss of over 105,000 lives, he returned to Britain physically intact.

Later that year, he joined the Booth Line, trading into South America, as a land-based engineering manager.  Twenty years onward, in 1943, he married Jean Louise Kelts, attached to a U. S.  Military mission developing natural rubber supplies for the American and Allied war effort.  

In 1946, they emigrated to Canada with their first child in tow.  He subsequently joined the Steamship Inspection Service of the Canadian Government.  Following a brief interlude in Toronto  he was posted in 1947 to the shipping  terminus of Thunder Bay, Ontario.  In 1952, he was posted to Kingston, Ontario as the Senior Inspector.  He retired there in 1961.

He died in February1973 in his 77th year.  

Father is listed as James Stevenson, Bressay Light House, near Lerwick, Shetland. William is listed as living c/o Mr McDonald, 63 Holmscroft St., Greenock. He was an apprentice fitter with Kincaids. He joined the Howe Battalion from Crystal Palace on 3/11/1914 and fought at Gallipoli. He suffered from tachycardia on 25/11/1915 and then influenza and was sent to rest camp in Egypt. He rejoined his unit in February 1916. He sailed for England on 27/3/16 and then appears to have served at sea for the rest of the war.

William Stevenson