018 – Private Lemuel Mervyn Stevenson

Private Lemuel Mervyn Stevenson Killed in action
28 January 1918

The Advocate newspaper for 15 February 1918 informed its readers of the sad death of Lemuel Mervyn Stevenson, son of John Moore and Eliza Stevenson of ‘Viewmont’ East Devonport.

Lemuel volunteered for enlistment in May 1916 and on acceptance was allotted to the 7th reinforcements for the 40th Battalion sailing from South Australia on board the MHAT A48 Seang Bee on 10 February 1917. Whilst still in training he was made an acting corporal, but on arrival in England had to revert to the rank of private once more. On 20 July 1917 Private Lemuel Stevenson was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps Details then at Grantham. After a further period of training in England, he embarked for the front and was taken on strength with the 11th Machine Gun Battalion on 23 October 1917.  According to the entries in the 11th Machine Gun Battalion Diary, on 27th January the men marched to the ‘Penzance Lines’ at Neuve Eglise. The following day they moved into the line with 16 machine guns in action, possibly near Ploegsteert Wood.

With the diary entries being short on details it is hard to know what happened to the two soldiers that were killed and the nine that were wounded except it seems to have occurred while they were relieving the 22nd Machine GunCompany.

He was later buried in the London Rifle Brigade Cemetery at Ploegsteert. Further tragedy would strike the family with the death of Private Lloyd Stevenson on 23 April 1918, whilst serving with the 12th Battalion.