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Richard Stephenson

John Richard Stephenson was born in the second quarter of 1886 and his birth registered in Scarborough He was the third son of Frederick and Jane (nee Hornby) Stephenson, who married in the Scarborough area in the third quarter of 1879. For much his life he seems to have used his second name Richard rather than his first name, and enlisted under that name.

In 1891 Frederick and Jane were living with their five children were living in Nelson Street in Scarborough. All the children were at school and Frederick was working as a general labourer.

 1891 Census – resident at 112 Nelson St, Scarborough.  

STEPHENSON, Fredk, Head, Married, M, 34, General Labourer, Hutton Bushell Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Jane, Wife, Married, F, 35, , Rillington Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Fredk W, Son, Single, M, 10, Scholar, Scarborough Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Emily, Daughter, Single, F, 8, Scholar, Scarborough Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Thos, Son, Single, M, 6, Scholar, Scarborough Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, John R, Son, Single, M, 5, Scholar, Scarborough Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Isabella, Daughter, Single, F, 3, , Scarborough Yorkshire,

By 1901 the family seem to have split up, probably for some practical reason. Frederick and his six-year-old son Robert were still living in Nelson Street, but Jane, with her daughter Emily and baby son Frederick had moved to Malton. Jane was working as a charwoman and they lived in Lapish Yard, just across the road from St Leonard’s Church. Meanwhile Richard was working as a horseman for George Beal, a farmer in Old Malton.

1901 Census – resident at 68 Town Street, Malton
BEAL, George, Head, Married, M, 38, Farmer, Malton Yorkshire,
BEAL, Annie, Wife, Married, F, 33, , Habton Yorkshire,
BEAL, William S, Son, , M, 5, , Malton Yorkshire,
BEAL, John T, Son, , M, 3, , Malton Yorkshire,
PREST, Annie, Servant, Single, F, 16, General Servant Domestic, Welburn Yorkshire,
STEPHENSON, Richard, Servant, Single, M, 17, Horse Man On Farm, Scarboro Yorkshire,

1901 Census – resident at 112, Nelson Street, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England

Fredk Stephenson, Head, Married, Male, 43, Genl Labourer, Hutton Buscel, Yorkshire, England,

Robt  Stephenson, Son, Single, Male, 6,  -, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England,

Ellen Wood, House Keeper, Widow, Female, 46, Housekeeper, Barnard Castle, Yorkshire, England,

1901 Census – resident at 3, Lapish Yard, Town of Malton, Malton, Yorkshire, England

Jane Stephenson, Head, Married, Female, 43, Charwoman, Rillington, Yorkshire, England,

Emily Stephenson, Daughter, Single, Female, 19, Domestic Servant, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England,

Frederick William Stephenson, Son, Single, Male, 0, -, Malton, Yorkshire, England,

In  March 1902 Richard, who had been serving with the Militia for about a month, enlisted at Pontefract with the 3rd battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry for three years with the Colours and nine years in the Reserve. He was just over 18 and 5’2” tall with brown hair, grey eyes and a ruddy complexion. He had a scar on the back of his neck and three vaccination marks on his arm and gave his religion as Church of England. His commanding officer in the Militia had no objection to his joining up and gave him a good character.  He soon became a Lance Corporal, and was briefly made Corporal before being demoted back to Lance Corporal in 1903.

After three years serving at Home, he was placed on the Reserve list and was at home with his mother in Malton for the 1911 Census.  He was discharged from the Regiment in March 1914.

1911 Census – resident at 2 Lapish Yard, Malton

STEPHENSON, Jane, Head, Married 30 years, F, 55, Char Woman, Rillington Yorks,
STEPHENSON, Richard, Son, Single, M, 25, Hotel Boots, Scarborugh Yorks,
STEPHENSON, Frederick, Grandson, Single, M, 10, School Boy, Malton Yorks,
TAYLOR, William, Lodger, Single, M, 49, Carter, Swinton Yorks,

 At the outbreak of war, Richard clearly rejoined his old battalion. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion was a depot/training unit. Based at Pontefract at the beginning of the war, it moved on mobilisation to Hull. In April 1916 it moved to Withernsea and went on to Hedon in October 1916. It shifted to Pocklington in June 1918 and finally Patrington in August 1918, as part of the Humber Garrison.  In the course of his service he was promoted to Sergeant and is listed on the St Leonard’s and the town war memorials as Sergeant Major.

Two days after the Armistice, Richard died, and is buried in Malton Cemetery. He is commemorated on the Town memorial and in St Leonard’s Church..