Private Richard Stenning

Date of Birth c.1896
Age at Death 19
Date of Death 1 June 1916
Service Number 2573
Military Service 21st Battalion, London Regiment
Merton Address 13 Briscoe Road
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Richard Edward Stenning was born in July 1896 in Windlesham, near Bagshot, Surrey. He was the eldest child of Edward and mother Emily, who was also born in Windlesham. In 1901 the family were living at 7 Langroyd Road, Streatham, and father Edward was employed as a General Labourer. By the time of the 1911 Census, the family had moved to 13 Briscoe Road, Colliers Wood, and the family had grown to include Eric, Cicely and Jack aged 9 months. Fourteen year old Richard was employed as an Office Boy and Messenger. Another sister, Marjorie was born later.

On 2 September 1914, Richard volunteered at the Camberwell Recruitment Office. He was described as being 18 years and 2 months, 5 foot 9 inches in height, with normal vision and good physical development. He was attached to the 21st Battalion, London Regiment as a Rifleman. He was stationed at home until 5 February 1916, when he was sent to France.

Richard’s Battalion would have been involved in the German attack on Vimy Ridge on 21 May 1916. After their trenches were “badly flattened out by hostile artillery” the previous day, the 21st Battalion’s War Diary for 25 May 1916 records:

“Battn marched to Corps Reserve at DIVION – Small Drafts received and training began – our casualties having been about 180 in recent operations including 2 officers missing and 5 wounded.”

One of those wounded would have been Richard, who was taken to a Field Station in Abbeville on 24 May suffering from a bomb wound to his thigh. On 26 May he was admitted to No. 2 Station Hospital in Abbeville, where sadly he died of his wounds a few days later on 1 June 1916.

Richard is buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery, Somme, France. His grave is marked with a cross, and the Inscription chosen by his family, reads - “OUR LOSS IS GREAT BUT GOD KNEW BEST AND GAVE HIM REST”. He is also commemorated locally at Christ Church, Colliers Wood.

Richard was entitled to the Victory and British War Medals, which were received by his father on 17 May 1922.


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