Donald Guy Stevens

Rank Private
Service No 12/1800
Date of Death 02/08/1915
Age 20
Regiment/Service Auckland Regiment New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Cemetery Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

Donald was born in the early part of 1895 in Upper Holloway. His parents were William Stevens (b. 1860), a hosier, and his wife, Annie (b. 1860). William and Annie had three other children: Fred Ord (b.1890), Annie (b.1892) and William Horace (b.1893).

In 1901 the family were living at 196 Harberton Road, London N19. In 1911 the family were living at 21, Grove Avenue, Finchley. Donald's parents had been married 22 years. Donald was at this time unemployed. William later followed his father into his trade as a clothing merchant, whilst Fred became an analytical chemist and Annie an assistant librarian. 

The October 1915 edition of the St Luke’s Finchley Monthly Magazine records Donald’s death and indicates that he attended the church, prior to going to New Zealand ‘about two years ago’. It goes on to say that: ‘His death caused much sorrow to a wide circle of friends and Mr and Mrs Stevens received various telegrams and cables from officials including first one from the Secretary of the Governor to express their Excellences sympathy and later from the Governor himself, by command, to express that of the King and Queen.’ It concludes by stated that Donald: ‘was faithfully looked after and attended to by his friend Harold Carr, the Son of Mr. C. H. Carr, Headmaster of Finchley County Secondary School, who formed one of the same contingent and has since returned to Gallipoli.’

While in New Zealand, he worked as a fencer in Puketiti, in the north of north island. He enrolled in the NZ Expeditionary Force on 14th December 1914 and passed a medical five days later. On 14th February, 1915 he embarked with his battalion from Wellington and arrived at Suez, in Egypt, on 26th March. He wrote his will on 7th May and next day arrived in the Dardanelles.

On 10th June 1915, Donald was transported via His Majesty’s Transport ship Southland to Alexandria, Egypt, because he had a bullet wound in the left buttock.  On 16th June he was a patient in the 1st Australian General Hospital, which was based at the Heliopolis Palace Hotel on the north-eastern edge of Cairo. On 27th July, he was dangerously ill with diphtheria and he died at the hospital on 2nd August.

The registers of St Luke’s Finchley reveal that Fred and William were baptised as adults in St Luke’s on 15th March 1916 and, nine days later, the Bishop of Willesden confirmed them both in St Mary-at-Finchley.

http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE19702631 lists all his New Zealand military records.