William Stonier, Private 55130, 23rd Bn. Machine Gun Corps
Killed in action 23rd June 1918 in Italy, aged 34
William Stonier was born on 19 January, and baptised on 9 March 1884 at Sunderland Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, the son of Ann Jane and William Stonier, a silk warehouseman of 90 Daybrook St, Hurdsfield. In 1891, seven-year-old William was living at that address with his parents and siblings John (22), Annie (17), Isabella (10), Frederick (8) and Josiah (3). By 1901 William’s father had died, the family had moved to 11 Cumberland St, Macclesfield, and William was working as a silk mill overlooker.
In 1911, William was boarding at 179 Narrow Lane, Foleshill, Coventry, and working as a foreman at Courtaulds. He married Alice Reeve at Coventry in 1915.
His wife was living at 152, Widdrington Road, Coventry after his death.
The death of Private Stonier was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 12 July 1918:
Pte William Stonier, of Coventry, formerly of Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, was killed on June 23rd in Italy, where he was serving with the Machine Gun Corps. He met his death instantaneously through a bursting bomb, and of him the Captain writes: “His bravery and devotion to duty made him liked generally by the Company.”
Pte Stonier, who was 34 years of age, was educated at Mill Street School… and attended the Sunday School there and the Sunderland Street Wesleyan Chapel. He left Macclesfield for Coventry in 1911 and was employed before enlistment at Messrs Courtauld’s. Prior to being transferred to Italy he served in France. His brother, Pte Fred Stonier, was killed last March.
Private William Stonier is buried at Granezza British Cemetery, in grave ref. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 1. His widow paid for the inscription IN PROUD & LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR HUSBAND R.I.P. to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Stonier, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of Frederick Stonier, who served as Private 267894 with the 1st/6th Bn. Cheshire Regiment and was killed in action 26th March 1918 in France, aged 36; and Josiah Stonier, who served as Private 252895 with the 483rd Labour Coy and survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Cheshire Non-conformist & Roman Catholic Registers (Find My Past): Baptisms
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
WWI Britain Absent Voters’ Lists (Find My Past)
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times:12 July 1918