Eric Lionel Stephenson

lincolnshire regimental badge2nd Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action, 18th March 1916, aged 23

Born at Althorpe in late 1892 Eric was the eight son and youngest child of Alderman James Stephenson JP and his first wife Clara Frances (nee Adams). His mother died at the same time as his birth and his father a farmer and influential member of the community remarried in 1895.

Educated at Bishop Stortford College on leaving Eric had begun training as a medical student. Sometime around 1912 he enrolled as a student at the London Hospital where he was training to be a medical missionary and was also noted for ‘doing good work among the poor’.

Eric enlisted in the army in Autumn 1915 and having already had training with the London Hospital Officer Training Corps he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Lincolnshire Regiment. According to his medal card he arrived in France on 10th January 1916 although at that time the unit he was to served with the 4th Lincoln’s were on a ship in the Mediterranean en-route to Egpyt!

Their tour to Egypt did not last long and they were recalled back to France in February. On the 10th March the received notice for their first tour of duty at the front when they were ordered to relieve the French troops in the trenches south west of Lens. The 4th Lincoln’s moved into the front line near Talus des Zouaves on 14th March and only four days later Eric Stephenson lost his life there.

Eric is buried in Ecoivres Military Cememtery, Mont-St Eloi.

Eric is commemorated on both Althorpe War Memorials and with an inscription on his parent’s grave.