R.S.M. JOHN M. STEPHENSON, DCM

Thursday, January 28, 1915

In Camp, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Draft of unfit sent to 12th Battn.” [1]

R.S.M. JOHN M. STEPHENSON, DCM

R.S.M. JOHN M. STEPHENSON, DCM

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: John Myhoe Stephenson, R.S.M., (Lieut.), DCM, (#25540) was born 29 Apr 1885 at Douglas on the Isle of Man. After serving three years with the Manchester Regiment, he came to Canada and served eight years with the Royal Canadian Regiment.  At the outbreak of war he re-enlisted with another regiment as a sergeant, but as we have already seen, the newly appointed R.S.M. of the 14th Bn., C. Basil Price, an officer of the Victoria Rifles, who had relinquished his commission to accompany the 14th Bn. overseas, realized how valuable to the 14th Bn. Stephenson would be.

Price therefore relinquished his post in August of 1914 and became a colour-sergeant to permit Stephenson’s appointment as Regimental Sergeant Major of the 14th Bn.

Stephenson was wounded in the Battles of Ypres (Apr-May 1915) and returned to the battalion in the last week of July 1915.  He was wounded again on August 31st by shelling, and again evacuated, and posted to the 23rd Bn., to be succeeded as R.S.M. of the 14th by Sergt. W.A. Bonshor.

In January 1916 Stephenson was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the citation reading – “For conspicuous gallantry; he was instrumental in keeping up the supply of ammunition, and, in many instances, he carried the boxes himself into the line, under very heavy shell fire, displaying the greatest bravery and devotion. He has twice been wounded in action.”  [2]

He was also Mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded the Medaille Militaire by France.

In February 1916 while on the strength of the 23rd Bn. he was appointed a temporary Lieutenant with effect 25 Jan 1916.  In June of 1916 he was appointed a temporary Quarter-Master with the rank of Honorary Captain effective 16 Oct 1916.  In Nov. 1917 this was changed to be temporary Lieut. effective 10 June 1917.  This was changed again in Feb 1918 when he was appointed acting Captain with effect 21 Dec 1917, and then again in May 1918 when as temporary Lieut., he relinquished the acting rank of Captain, effective 21 Jan 1918, and he ended the war as a Lieutenant.

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Jan 28, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089686.jpg
[2]   Supplement to the London Gazette, 29503, 11 March, 1916, pg. 2745.

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