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My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

Article about: Hi Guys, here is my Grandad, Corporal Isaac Stevenson, Royal Field Artillery, pictured with my Grandma, Hilda Elizabeth Stevenson, just after they were married. He got two weeks leave in whi

  1. #1

    Default My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Hi Guys, here is my Grandad, Corporal Isaac Stevenson, Royal Field Artillery, pictured with my Grandma, Hilda Elizabeth Stevenson, just after they were married. He got two weeks leave in which to get married in Nov 1918. At the time he was serving in the British Army of Occupation in Koln in Germany. He served another 6 months there before being de-mobbed.

    Grandad wears his .303 Lee Enfield leather rifle ammo bandolier. My Dad recalls that he used to play Army wearing it and he used to keep it under his bed, but my Grandma must have thrown it out as my Dad cannot recall what happened to it. My Dad thinks it disappeared while he was doing his National Service in the '50's?

    But on a nicer note, see if you can see the Diamond engagement ring that my Grandma wears in the photo? This was given to her by my Grandad in 1915 when he left for the front and it is now worn by Lez as our engagement ring. I wear my Grandad's wedding ring as my wedding ring. It is a heavy 18 carat gold ring in the form of a belt and buckle. They were married for 60 years.

    My Grandfather was a volunteer soldier and joined the Army in 1915. As mentioned earlier before leaving for the Western Front he got engaged to my Grandmother. He was sent to France on 9/8/1915. He was a member of the Royal Field Artillery and was assigned to a gun team using the very effective 18 pounder field gun. He served on the Somme which was one of the bloodiest battles ever fought by the British Army. His unit was attached to the Third Infantry Division, nick-named the "Iron Division". One of his memories was that his horse drowned in the mud.

    My Grandad died 30 years ago when I was 16, (which hit me really hard) so I have no real war stories to tell. My Dad says he never spoke of the Great War much to him either, other than to say he saw many horrific things and he did not want to remember them.

    I know that he served in Koln in the Army of Occupation in 1919 and I have this letter from the Genral Officer Commanding with a few written notes and German phrases on the back. (I have done this in negative to make it a bit easier to read in one pic)

    I also have a Barrage table of his gun and times shells were fired. Why he kept this I do not know? Maybe they were the last rounds they fired and that is why it was kept? Sadly it is un dated. By rights it should have been.

    He did bring home a P08 Luger which he told my Dad he took off a dead German Officer. Sadly, this was handed in to the authorities in 1968 during a firearms amnesty. My Dad recalls he had taken out the firing pin but it was complete in the holster. However, I do have his medals. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal.

    Cheers, Ade

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  2. #2

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Medal index card records are now available online via the UK National Archives website.

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | World War One medal cards

    Cost is 2 to download the card you want. I did this for my Grandad's card. From this I got the little snippet of info with the date he was sent to France. Well worth it

    Here is also a good link showing how to actually read the info on the card:

    Researching a soldier: interpreting a medal index card

    I should add you will also get another 5 index cards for the price as the microfilm shows six entries for the same or similar names.

    Also shown is the Barrage table, which I mentioned earlier.
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  3. #3

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Here is a locket worn by my Grandma which contains a hand coloured photograph of my Grandad in uniform.

    The reverse of the locket shows a photo of another family member in service at the time. This was my Grandma's brother in law, Arthur Ray Barnsley, who was serving in the 92nd Battalion (48th Highlanders) C.E.F. As you can see he was a Bandsman. By the way, Canadian records are accessable on line. Here is a good link about how to access and read them:

    WW1 CEF Trace

    I obtained his attestation papers showing when he signed up. Until I got these my Dad and I never realised he was born in South Africa! So a South African born man in the Canadian Army in a Can Scottish Regt! Just goes to show the links the Empire created.
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  4. #4

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Here are a couple of photos of some of my Grandad's comrades. Sadly these photos do not give any names or the location that it was taken. They only came to light after my Grandma died. I suspect these were taken in France. I wonder how many of them made it through?
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  5. #5

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Two other large sized photos taken once again I think in France/Belgium?

    Note the Officer on the white horse!

    A shot of the 18 prd field gun of the type he used, taken in the IWM London.
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    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    As he was a gunner on 18 prd's he had access to plenty of spent shell cases. Here are two that he had made into two miniature service dress caps, using collar dogs for cap badges. This was a very popular form of "Trench Art" at the time. These now sit on my Dads fireplace. The shell cases are dated 1908 and 1915.

    I also have this German watch case. The watch is long since lost. I had not examined this closely until the other year. Grandad had made a leather insert with his name and address. I took this out and discovered behind this some type written and hand written letters. They were from a German soldier in a reserve hospital in 1918! I suspect he "liberated" the watch and case and this paper padding was in there.
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  7. #7

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Here is another item relating to my Grandad's service. Being over age to serve in the Army in WW2, he instead served in the Civil Defence. He enlisted as an ARP Warden. In addition, he also served as a Sgt. in the St. John Ambulance Brigade throughout the war.

    Here is a silver cup that he was presented with in recognition of his service.

    Also shown are his St John qualification badges with bars for each year he re-qualified, cap badge and lapel badge. I aslo have his shoulder titles.

    While researching his St John service I contacted their archivist. She had no records of the Ruddington, Notts branch in which he served, so I was able to help them fill in the gaps in their records.

    My Grandad is featured in a photo showing the Ruddington ARP in the village museum. I need to obtain a copy of this pic. It is also reproduced in the village history book.

    His ARP uniform, BD and greatcoat was actually worn out by my Dad, who worn it to school after the war. Remember that clothes were still on ration until 1951.
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  8. #8

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    My next step is to apply to the MOD for the WW2 Defence Medal. He would have qualified for this through his Civil Defence work. I found with his medals a simple ribbon bar for the medal but no actual medal itself. So I now have the paperwork to obtain the missing medal.

    I also intend to visit the National Archives to see if his service records still exist? These are slowly coming online too. But most WW1 service records were destroyed in 1940, courtsey of the Lufwaffe. There has been an on going project to rebuild these records by cross indexing them with war pension records. A very commendable act to help researchers.

    I hope you found this thread of interest and given you a few ideas too for research projects.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Great posts Ade some fantastic momentoes of your Grandfather and his war , my Grandfather was a Gunner with 35 and 126 Heavy Batteries RGA, i only have pictures of him taken at home including one showing his wound stripes, none in France and Flanders or of his unit unfortunately !!

    It's just a pity that the photos of him and his comrades are not named and dated so you could date and place them.

    I followed the family tradition and also became a Gunner !!

    Thanks for sharing them, best regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #10

    Default re: My Grandad: Clp Isaac Stevenson RA 1915-1919.

    Hi Paul, thanks for the comments. Not having a description on the back of photos is really frustrating. I have since got my Mum and Dad to record who is who on old family pics.

    I do not know my Grandad's exact unit. I have a list of 18 pounder batteries that served with the Division but that is it at present.

    Talking with my Dad again about him the other day after doing this thread, my Dad says he thinks he served at Ypres too? Dad says he recalls him saying that they had to shoot the horses on occasion.

    This month only it is free to search the online records. (Don't get me started on this: I think it is disgraceful that this service has been subbed out to a private company ) However, nothing comes up on him either via Soldiers records or pension records. But most of these were lost in WW2.

    I would love to see your Grandad's pics please do a thread on him.

    Cheers, Ade.

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