Biography of Company Serjeant Major Stephen Kettle, (7857)
1st battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 4th October 1917
- Name: Stephen Kettle
- Date of birth: 1889
- Place of Birth: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Date of Birth Registration: January – March 1889
- Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Name: Thomas Kettle
- DOB: 1862
- Place of Birth: Cowbit, Lincolnshire, England
- Occupation: Labourer
- Name: Sarah Ann Pick
- DOB: 1860
- Place Of Birth: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Marriage: 19 July 1882 Bourne
Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)
- Rosette Kate Pick, 1879, Bourne (Half Sister)
- Annie Mary Kettle, 1883, Bourne
- William Edward Kettle, 1885, Bourne
- Stephen Kettle, 1889, Bourne
- Hilda Frances Kettle, 1902, Bourne (Half Sister)
- 1891: Stephen is living with his parents in Eastgate, Bourne, Lincolnshire
- 1901: Stephen is living with his mother in Eastgate, Bourne, Lincolnshire
- 1911: Stephen is living in Aden with his battalion 1st Lincolnshires
- Stephen’s brother William served in ww1 in the Lincolnshire Regiment but survived.
- No marriage for Stephen has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 23rd January 1915
INTERESTING LETTER FROM A BOURNE SOLDIER.
AN APPEAL FROM THE TRENCHES.
Sergt. Stephen Kettle, 1st Lincolns (son of Mrs Kettle, Eastgate, Bourne), went out with the first contingent of the Expeditionary Force. In the course of a letter to Mr. J.J. Davies, he says:-
Kindly accept my heartiest thanks for the parcel. I have made a distribution as you wished, and all your “Old Boys” join me in thanking you all. It cheers one up to find out that people at home are thinking about us, especially on these occasions, as our hardships are great. But all carry the old cheery smile. We hope for the beat. There are better days in store. The weather is very bad. The trenches are knee-deep with mud. When relieving parties of troops, a great number of men have to be lifted out of the trenches, on account of the wet and cold. So you will guess what our hardships are like, apart from shot and shell. But, thank God, I am in the beat of health and spirits, and should I be spared to see the end of this terrible war, I shall say I am a lucky man. You at home would not believe the sights one sees out here.
The Good Old Lincolns the Fighting Corps.
I suppose you have already heard the credit which fallen on my Regiment—not a better taking part in this campaign. We are known as the “Fighting Corps,” thanks to our Colonel. We took part in the great fight at Ypres. The town was a complete wreck. The shell the enemy is using is 13 inches across the base. If I had not seen it, I would not have believed it. I think that 100 boys of the old School serving the King is very good. I suppose if you made that known most Bourne people would say we are doing our share. But I say there is no such thing as share where King and country are concerned. I am sure there are plenty more men in Bourne eligible to take part in this great war. I have no doubt you will think this, my letter, a kind of an appeal from the trenches. Well, I think it is myself. All some think about is going for walks with the girls up Thurlby-road, Stamford-hill, &c. For such, reading of the war suffices. But when peace is proclaimed, they are the boys to do the talking. Well, I have no doubt your scholars are all eager do their little lot. Their time will come . There are lot of gaps to fill up. I wish I could tell you all about the war in this letter. But, should I be spared to see it through, I shall, of course, explain it to you then.
Message to the Brotherhood.
You remember I was a member of the Bourne Brotherhood. I should like you to give them my following compliment:- “I heartily wish them all a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year and every success in the working of the Society and may it continue with honour and brightness and with true esprit de corps.” I should like for you to read this letter to the members of the Brotherhood, if you would. I feel I should like them to know I am still smiling and that I am thinking of them in their good work. All our boys join me in wishing you and yours a healthy, hearty and prosperous New Year.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 19th February 1916
LETTERS FRON THE FRONT
Driver William Code (son of Mr Codd, Red Hall, Bourne), who is in the Lincolns and “somewhere in France,” on the course of his letters, writes:- We of the Transport do not go in the trenches, because we could not get there with two horses and a field kitchen. I am quite well. I have received both the parcels you sent and enjoyed the contents very much. The flashlight is a good one, but the bulb was broken in coming. Ted Hare, of Dyke is coming home on leave and he will call on you. There are a lot of Bourne lads here. The other day I saw S. Starkey, Ralph Pattinson, Herbert Goodley and Walter Kettle, all Bourne boys going down the street together. As I was in charge of my horse I could not stop to speak to them. I received four home parcels quite safely. I have also received a parcel from the two and one from the Brotherhood, and I thank both the Brotherhood and my good townsmen for their great kindness and thoughtfulness in sending us soldiers such generous and acceptable gifts. O have some souvenirs for you if I can only get hem home. We have seen both the Bradleys and Stephen and William Kettle, so you see we have a few of our old Bourne boys here. Pte. J. Phillips (who was wounded in Flanders and served through the Gallipoli campaign), writing to Mr. J.J. Davies of Bourne, says:- I am in the best of health. I am pleased my description of the landing in Gallipoli was enjoyed. It was the truth in reality, not simply by an wow-witness, but by one who took part. I had a letter from Mr. J.J. Nichols the other day. He had sent me a big box for Christmas, but I have not received it. I am told they are all held up at Alexandria. We have been quiet since we left the Peninsula, but I think we shall soon be in the thick of it again.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 27th October 1917
WAR NOTES – Official notification has been received during the week of the death of three Bourne “boys”. Pte John Albert Victor Bosley, of the Australian Imperial Forces, was killed on October 4th. He was in Australia at the time of outbreak of war and joined the forces in the Colonies in March 1916 after having been twice rejected. He was in training in Australia for six weeks, afterwards being transferred to Salisbury Plain, where, after four months further training, he was drafted abroad. Another notification was in respect of Pte. Arthur Thornton, who was formerly in the employ of Messrs. T.W. Mays and Sons. Ltd. and was of such fine physique as to be acceptable for the Life Guards. The third notification was that of Sergt. Major Stephen Kettle, who was quite recently home on leave. Deceased was well known at Bourne and was in the Amy prior to the outbreak of war. Official notification has also been received that Pte. William Michelson, of Bourne, is missing. The news was received on Friday, the information being forwarded to his wife.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 10th November 1917
A MEMORIAL SERVICE for Sergt.-Major Stephen Kettle killed in action on the 4th October, was held in the Parish Church on Sunday, when a large number of relations and friend attended. In an address the preacher, taking for his text, “I kept silence even from good words” (Psalm xxxix., 3), related an interesting incident which occurred just three years ago. When the Worcesters had saved Calais by re-capturing Gheluvelt on 31st October, Lord French was so pleased that he came to thank them in person. But when he saw the remnant that was left and realised what they had endured, he could not speak. He kept silence even from good words and sent an aide-de-camp to read his message of commendation. But when he, too, saw the remnant that was left, he could not control his emotions. So the praises were never delivered. The preacher asked the sympathy of the congregation not only for the deceased’s relatives, but for his comrades, who at the front feel these bereavements acutely, and yet have to go on bearing the burden of the age. Suitable hymns were sung. Mr Leary was at the organ, and Mr. Browning read the service.
- Lincolnshire Echo Thursday 15th November 1917
OFFICIAL LOCAL CASUALTIES
Kettle, 7857 C.S.M. S. (Bourne)
- Sheffield Daily Telegraph Thursday 15th November 1917
Kettle (7857), C.S.M. S. (Bourne)
- Grantham Journal Saturday 17th November 1917
LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT CASUALTIES.
N.C.O.’s and Men
Kettle 7857 Co. Sergt. Major S. (Bourne)
- War Office Weekly Casualty List, November 20th 1917
Kettle 7857 Co. Sjt. Maj. S. (Bourne).
- None found
- These records show that Company Serjeant Major Stephen Kettle, 7857, 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action on 4th October 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.
Effects Left To
- Gertrude Beeson
- The British Medal
- The Victory Medal
- Bourne, Roll of Honour in Bourne Abbey Church
Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
- Enlisted in Spalding
Disembarked 13 August 1914
- This is ongoing research and will be posted when completed
- WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
- British Newspaper Archive.
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- War Gratuity Calculator
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
- General Registry Office