David Stevenson

Private David Stevenson (52128), a member of 13th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, had absconded whilst in a forward area, and remained at large for seven weeks.

Details of this offence were posted in Rouen on 2 August 1918. He was then seen in a village, located in the rear. When he was questioned, Stevenson claimed that he was working for the town’s mayor. Unfortunately for Stevenson, he was already under a suspended sentence for a previous desertion conviction.

The recollections of the NCO in charge of Stevenson’s firing squad was published after the war:

It was a terrible scene, being that I knew him made it worse for me. The ten men were selected from a few details left out of the line. They were nervous wrecks themselves, and two of them had not the nerve to fire. Of course, they were courts-martialed but they were found to be medically unfit – their nerves had gone … The last words the lad said were “What will my Mother say?”

Private David Stevenson was shot at 03:57am on 18 July 1918. The execution took place in the mining village of Bully-Grenay, near Lens in Northern France. He was the last member of the Middlesex Regiment executed during the First World War.

Medal Index Card for David Stevenson
Medal Index Card for David Stevenson.

Stevenson is buried in Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery (British Extension), Grave Reference V.G.1.