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Trumpeter Richard Stevens
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Very Happy Razz Very Happy , Hello ! , this query is directed to Julian Whybra . It is connection with TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .

I have a Richard Walford Stevens bc 1859 at Witham in ESSEX on the 1871 census , however the 1861 census shows him as being born at Newington Butts Surrey also in 1859 , is this the same person Julian ??? and what became of this man ? . I trust those with an interest in the event at Purfleet ( Nov 5th ) will attend , perhaps if there Julian you will be able to give me a personal response ( starts 11 am Nov 5th , Centurion Way Purfleet) . Hopefully a number of descendants from the engagement on Jan 22nd 1879 will also be in attendance to give us chance to meet and enjoy the " SCARLET TO KHAKI " event being held there on that day , Thank You , Graham .
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
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I have Richard V. Stevens born in 1851 in Brick House, Maldon Rd., Witham, Essex, the son of a local landowner. County Cricket did not exist in the 1870s but he played for Essex in the informal and friendly matches that were then organized. He joined the 10th Essex Rifle Volunteers, part of the then army reserve and left England in 1878 for South Africa. All the records pertaining to the Volunteers were destroyed accidentally by a sergeant in the Royal Anglian Regt. in the 1990s who misinterpreted an order from an officer to 'get rid of them for a moment'. He took them outside and burnt them.
Stevens remained in South Africa - his photo appears in the Natal Mercury in 1929.
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Purfleet Event.
TonyJones


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 188
Location: Essex
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Dear Graham and Julian,
just to enlarge on the Purfleet event.The start time is 10:00,but there is somebody usually there from 09:00.I will post details of the event on sections elsewhere in the forum.Cheers.

Tony.
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Dawn


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 610
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Julian

One wonders what then happened to the sergeant? Hung, drawn and quartered? Wink

Dawn
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Julian

It is a pity his county was Essex or we might otherwise be able to learn more about Stevens.

Although the county championship didn't start until the 1880s, the already well established regular fixtures between Kent, Sussex, Hants, Surrey & Notts have been retrospectively designated first-class, thereby attracting research.

The position of Essex as a (then) "minor county" means Stevens' county "career" in the 1870s does not feature in the various relevant compilations of the Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians (ACS) whereas if he'd appeared for, say, Kent or any other leading county, I would probably not only have been able to corroborate his origins but also give you chapter & verse on a number of other attributes - such as, for example, whether he appeared in the late middle-order and/or was slow left-arm, etc, etc.

A great shame(!) - but never mind ... Wink

Peter
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
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Dawn
The super-intelligent sergeant became a naturalized American. adopted by the then President, ran successfully for Governorships, and is currently President of the US. Not a lotta people know that.
Peter
Before anyone runs up a blind alley - I have already checked with Essex CC Board and they hold no records relating to Stevens.
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Re: Trumpeter Richard Stevens
alunstevens


Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I have recently found this forum discussion regarding my GGF and thought that I could share information I have recently unearthed regarding his background. Firstly, his name. I was told by my father that his name was Richard William Stevens. This, it transpires, is incorrect. His name was in fact RICHARD WALFORD STEVENS although online searches show him as Richard Watford Stevens for the 1861 UK Census.

He was born on 17 October 1858 at Newington (sometimes Newington Butts) in London - although at that time Newington was in Surrey. It is not clear where his family lived at that time, but for the 1851 census, they are shown as residing at 19 Bennett Street, Southwark, London. This street has had its name changed and is now Rennie Street. It is the first street to the west of Blackfriars Road just south of the Thames and just north of Christ Church. There are no longer any houses in the street. Newington is a little further south around Elephant and Castle.

His father was Richard Stevens and his mother was Eliza A Clark. Eliza was born c1816 in Witham, Essex. Richard was born c1818 in Islington, Middelesex. They had a fairly large family and Richard Walford was their youngest child. The children were Emma (1843), Janette (1845), Louisa (1847), Clara (1849), Charles Richard (1851), William (1854), Arthur Partridge (1857) and Richard Walford. Eliza died in the March Quarter of 1859 in Newington - I await the death certificate. They must also have moved to Witham, Essex soon afterwards because the 1861 census shows the family living in Newland Street Witham. Richard also married again in June 1861 to Frances Matilda Claude (nee Hewitt). They had three children - two girls who appear to have died in infancy and a son Francis Hewitt Stevens. Frances Matilda died 5 days after his birth.

Richard Snr was a solicitor in Witham and is shown to have been there at the time of the 1851 census when his family were in Southwark. They clearly lived a more than comfortable lifestyle because all the boys were borders at Felsted School in Dunmow, Essex. The school was founded in 1564 and numbers Oliver Cromwell's four sons amongst its alumni. Modern fees are some UKP25,000 per year and I suspect they would have been equivalent in the mid 1800's.

The Stevens' were a seriously legal family. Richard's brother Frederic was also a lawyer and three of his sons went on to be lawyers too - Charles Richard, William and Francis Hewitt. Louisa also married a lawyer Frank Postle Bawtree who was in partnership with Charles Richard and Francis Hewitt (yes you guessed it - Stevens, Bawtree and Stevens!) Louisa and Frank's son Lewis interestingly also went to South Africa as a policeman in the northern Cape and is buried at Sutherland.

Richard Walford married Kate Norton of Barkly East although I don't know when. I have her date of death as 18 September 1946. She was the daughter of Benjamin Norton and F Muller. Benjamin Norton was the son of the Jewish 1820 settlers John and Sarah Norton who interestingly travelled to South Africa on the same ship as my wife's 1820 ancestor Rev John Ayliff. Kate's uncle was the very interesting Joshua Norton I, Emperor of the United States (look him up) who made a name for himself in the early years of San Francisco. The Felsted School archives indicate that Richard Walford was living in Germiston at the time of his death, but I do not know when this occurred although it must have occurred after 1941 when he was photographed by the Natal Mercury.

Interestingly I was born in Germiston in 1952 and my parents lived in and around this area after the war as did my paternal grandmother. She was Richard Walton's daughter-in-law. My grandfather, Arthur Percival Stevens had died some time before the war.

And now cricket. The Essex newspapers of the day (1879) make a point of noting that Richard Walford was a noted cricketer. There is some chance that this was a case of mistaken identity. All the Stevens boys had a keen interest in cricket as all are shown as having been in the First XI at Felsted. The standout was Francis Hewitt who had a long career at Essex (pre the real county cricket) and is mentioned in the official history of Felsted School as their greatest cricketer (in 1882 he scored 132 out of a score of 250 for the school against Essex and then took 8 for 47 to have the county all out for 128). His eldest brother Charles Richard also played for Essex although not as extensively. This was in the period 1873 to 1880. There is no record of any of the other brothers having played for Essex. Whilst it is clear that the brothers were all cricketers, it is possible that Charles Richard's fame as a cricketer at the time might have rubbed off on his younger brother with the journalists.

And finally a report of a letter from Richard Walford that I have not seen quoted anywhere (although I would not be surprised if the historians amongst you have not found it before now). This is a transcript of an article published in the Essex Standard of 15 February 1879. The full reference is at the end. The scan has a couple of significant blurs that make it illegible in places, but other than that It reads as follows:


AN ESSEX MAN IN ZULULAND
The following letter from the seat of war in Zululand will be interesting to our readers as coming from the son of Mr Stevens, solicitor, of Witham:-
Natal Mounted Police Camp, Helmekaar, Feb. 15, 1879.
My dear _____,
You will see by the heading of my letter that we have been driven back to our starting place by the Zulus, and to tell [indistinct: you the] truth, I feel ashamed to own it. I have written home [indistinct: twice] since the awful day, 22nd January, but I will give you an account all to yourself. I will commence from the start, from the first camp the other side of the river. We left Rorke’s Drift camp, that is the name of the drift wh[indiscinct: where we] crossed over the Buffalo river, which divides Natal from Zululand, on the 19th January to advance about twelve miles into the country. It was a pretty sight to see the column going along, the waggons stretching over five miles, besides the troops. My little horse was sick that day, so I had to walk and lead him all the way. I was very tired when I came to the end of the journey; it was a broiling hot day. Well, we got to the place for camping, right in the centre of two hills, a very bad place indeed, and we pitched camp, and had a good sleep that night. The next morning , most of our men went out patrolling, and were to return the same evening, but about tea-time an order came in that they had seen the enemy out a good distance from the camp, and that they were going to stay out all night, so we sent out their food and great coats. Early the next morning the General took out most of the column with him, leaving in camp about 800 white men and several native contingents, and two big guns. This was the morning of the 22nd. Well, about 9 o’clock the men of our corps who were out on out-post duty, came in and reported the enemy in sight. We all turned out ready for action. We saw a few of them come [Indistinct] to the top of a big hill to our left, but they went away again. Then they sent some mounted niggers up the hill to see w[indistinct] presently we heard heavy firing over in that direction, [indistinct] these mounted men retiring slowly, closely follow[indistinct] of Zulus. Then they came down in heaps, you could not see the grass for them. The fight began then properly. I and a few more of us were sent out to skirmish in front of the [indistinct]p, we kept them at bay for some time, then we had the order [indistinct] retir[indistinct]g camp, and then they came on in thousands. I got into camp and went all over the place trying to get a rifle; my only weapon (a revolver) was broken, so I had no arms. I could not get any in the camp, so I had to stop there without any. I was in the camp until the Zulus were in as well, stabbing men right and left, and ripping the tents up with their assegais. They were destroying the second or third tent up the row, when I looked around , and saw a lot of men making their escape, so I thought that as I was of no use in the camp without arms I would go too, so I went. The sight in camp was something awful. They were not content with killing the men, but they ripped them up, and mutilated them horribly. They were so disfigured that when the remainder of the column came back they could hardly recognise one of them. The way we escaped was something marvellous. I was on a very small grey pony; there was no road, simply the rough ground covered with tremendous stones. I just got through the enemy as they were surrounding us, by the skin of my teeth; another few minutes and I should not have been able to have got through at all. After that there was a most awful hill to go up, then (worst of all) a precipice to go down – how we got down is a wonder to everybody. Then we came to the River – no end of poor fellows were drowned there. I went at it; my horse was taken away from under me. I managed to get my feet out of the stirrups somehow and swam for it. I was just being carried away by the current, when I saw a horse swimming in front of me all right, so I caught hold of his tail, and he pulled me through safely. When I got out I saw my pony further down the River standing high and dry, so I got on him and rode on to this place. We made what they call a laarger of the waggons – that is, the waggons are put so they form a square, and I spent two nights watching for the enemy, and I had no sleep; then the remainder of the column came up, and I can tell you we felt greatly relieved. We have been stationed up here ever since – it is most unhealthy. It is a small laarger, with about 11,000 men in it – bad water and weather, and you can imagine the amount of sickness there is – there is an average daily of about 500 men who see the doctor with dysentery and rheumatism. I am happy to say I have been pretty well up to the present, but I can feel rheumatism coming on in all my joints. The Zulus have taken every thing away from us. I have only what I stand up in. When I go to wash my short or socks, I have to sit on the bank and smoke until they get dry – there is one thing to be said, when the sun is out it does not take long. Our winter months are just beginning to come on, and we shall have it awfully cold up here, 7,000 feet above the level of the sea. Our waggons have just come up with our outfits, so we shall jog along a little better now. My poor little horse was killed, poor boy – I regret that as much as anything, he was such a pet and so affectionate. I should have been on him and got away with him if he had been well; but he had a sickness on him; he was so weak he could not bear the weight of the saddle on him, and he was stabbed going along the road trying to escape. Fancy, there were 16 officers of the 24th Regt. , and 3 companies of men cut up, and it was just one day later than the battle of Chilianwallah in 1849 was fought, when 23 officers and 500 rank-and-file of the same Regt. were cut up, as you will see in the paper I send you. It is dreadful to think of, and you can imagine how sick of talking and writing about it I am. This is the third letter I have written. My watch, I am sorry to say, was spoilt whilst I was swimming across the river, but I have sent it down to be repaired. I must say good-bye, so with love to all, and hoping this dry epistle won’t tire you,
I remain,
Yours ever affectionately,
R. W. Stevens

Reference
ESSEX MAN IN ZULULAND.
The Essex Standard, West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties' Advertiser(Colchester, England),Saturday, April 19, 1879; pg. 5; Issue 2523.
Category: News
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number:R3208618474
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Alun

An excellent post - many thanks for sharing. In the text above the letter you quote 15 February as the date of publication in the Essex Standard, the same day that the letter was written in Helpmekaar. The footnote has a publication date of 19 April so I assume that is correct.

Peter
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alunstevens


Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Peter

You are absolutely correct. An oversight on my part
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Trumpeter Richard Stevens
alunstevens


Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I have been doing a lot more digging on my GGF and have more information on him.

His mother's surname it transpires was not Clark, but Malyon. The Malyon's were a long established family in Witham. Her marriage to Richard Snr is interesting. She is shown in the 1841 census as a Female Servant aged 26 living in the house of Edward Banks Solicitor together with Richard Stevens, Clerk, aged 22. They were married on 28 July 1843 in London. This was some six months after the birth of their eldest daughter, Emma, who was born on 7 January 1843 at St Osyth, Essex - which is 30 km due east of Witham on the coast. She died on 9 February 1859 in Newington apparently unrelated to Richard Walford's birth.

Richard Walford was born, as previously stated, on 17 October 1858. At the time the family was residing at 8 Brunswick Street, Newington. The street is now called Falmouth Road.

The family appears to have maintained two homes. Eliza living in London with the children and Richard living in Witham with his business partner, Edward Banks. The 1851 census shows Eliza and children residing at 19 Bennett Street, Southwark while Richard is shown as residing in Newland Street (the main drag), Witham with Banks. Interestingly Eliza's mother was also living there as their cook and one of her other daughters was their servant.

Richard Walford's name is also interesting. Richard is a Stevens' family name and continues to this day with my brother named Bruce Richard. The Walford is more interesting and may be linked to his uncle Cornelius Walford who was married to Eliza Ann's sister Jane Malyon. Cornelius came from Witham and was an actuary, statistician, barrister and historian. He published extensively and wrote many books mainly on actuarial science and insurance. He also managed a number of insurance companies and merits an entry in Wikipedia.

This extends the legal connection as does the fact that Richard Walford's sister Clara also married a solicitor. Although as an actuary myself, I was pleased to see the actuarial connection.

Interestingly his eldest sister, Emma, was married on 23 January 1879 the day after Isandlwana while Rorke's Drift was being pummelled and Richard Walford was digging in at Helpmekaar.
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Trumpeter Richard Stevens
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