Trooper 2354, Household Battalion
Died 12th October 1917, aged 35
Remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial and Woking Town Memorial
but not in Blakeney
Joseph Stevens was born in Mayford, Woking and baptised there, 24th December 1882. He was the son of Thomas Stevens, a railway worker and his wife Sarah Ellen Chewney, one of 11 children born to the couple. Some 24 years later, 10th November 1906, Joe married Rosetta Beck in the same church. She was Blakeney born and bred, the daughter of Henry William and Martha Ann Beck nee Murrell, both of Blakeney.
Joe and Rosetta had three children born in Woking; Joseph William, Edith Hope and Ronald Thomas and each time they were baptised, Joe’s occupation was given as a nursery gardener. Sometime after May 1917, Rosetta and her children moved to Temple Place, Blakeney and it was there that Olive Rose was born posthumously. The older children were admitted to Blakeney School the following November.
Joe enlisted at Woking, 10th December 1915 and was initially placed in the Reserves and it was not until 19th May 1917 that he embarked at Southampton and was posted to the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. His records relate that he was killed in the field on the very day that the Second Army launched their attack on Passchendaele, in earnest.
Although his CWGC details give both his father and wife as next of kin, all the correspondence in his records were clearly directed to his wife in Blakeney. This relates to pension, notice of death, personal effects and medals and it is clear that the authorities regarded Joe as a resident of Blakeney.
Joseph is commemorated on the “Curved Memorial to the Missing” at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium where his name is featured with 35,000 other officers and soldiers who have no known grave.