Lance Sergeant Alick George Stoner

Regiment:  Royal West Surrey Regiment, 7th Battalion, 18th Division   Service No: G/605
Date & place of birth:, April-June 1894,  Petworth
Date & place of death: 18 November 1916, Western Front

Though born, raised and working in Petworth, Lance Sergeant Alick Stoner for some reason enlisted in Guildford and joined the oldest English line Infantry Regiment, first raised in 1661. He worked his way up to NCO rank before he died aged 22. His regiment fought in many of the same battles as the Sussex regiment which the majority of Petworth men joined.

Family background

Alick Stoner was born in Petworth, the son of William and Lucy Stoner of Kennel Lodge, Petworth; though Kennel Lodge is part of the Leconfield Hunt accommodation, William is found on the censuses as a carter or waggoner; he may have worked with the Hunt horses part-time. Alick was the oldest child, with brothers John, Norris James and Reginald Sydney, and sisters Edith, Jane and Ann Elizabeth. By 1911 they had moved to live in Tillington Road, Petworth. Alick was working as a farm labourer in 1911 and still living at home.

Military career

Lance Sergeant Stoner enlisted in Guildford to the local regiment, the Royal West Surreys. He clearly impressed as he was promoted to Lance Sergeant by the age of 22; he may have joined up early in the war as most NCO’s had done; whereas officers were usually recruited direct to their position provided they had attended major Public Schools, NCO’s usually had to work their way up from Private.

His battalion went to France in August 1915. In 1916 they took part in the battles of Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Delville Wood, Thiepval Ridge, Ancre Heights and The Ancre.  

Death & commemoration

Private Alick George Stoner was killed in action on the Western Front, probably on the Somme on 18 November 1916. He is buried in Stump Road Cemetery, Grandcourt.

 

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project