Hugh Grant Stevenson was the first child born to John & Mary Stevenson. The address registered on his birth certificate was that of the Brown family living at that time at 25 Plumer street. Since we know that John & Mary Stevenson address was at that time Robert street Kenny Marshall has speculated that John Stevenson was probably at that time at sea. Although Hugh was one of my uncles I cannot remember ever meeting him. The age difference between my father and Hugh was 22 years and since Hugh had moved to Wallasey their contact moments were limited. All I knew was that my dad had an older brother who was policeman living in Wallasey.
Fortunately Gerry Stevenson (Hugh and Elsie Stevenson’s youngest child) documented his father’s role as “pathfinder” in the RAF during WW2. Gerry wrote the foreword in 1991 and probably took many years to gather the detailed information that he documented.
Extract form Gerry’s foreword. I hope, something that will be of interest to the existing and future generations of the family. Whilst it answers many questions about Hugh Stevenson’s involvement, there remains one central puzzle. What was it that motivated a man with a young family – my brother and I were six and four respectively – to leave protected employment as a policeman, falsify his age by one year and volunteer for one of the most hazardous jobs in the war? The nearest we will ever be is to take the words of another volunteer Pathfinder, also in a reserved occupation, Wing Commander William Anderson O.B.E. D.F.C. A.F.C. in his 1946 book entitled Pathfinders. He wrote “People have told me that to have left Mary was wickedly selfish; that it was- done on the spur of the moment without considering my responsibilities; that it was just vanity, seeking after “Honour & Glory” Surely if a man marries a woman to look after her and fend for her and for the children of their love, he must be prepared to join with other men when the lives of those he loves are at stake, and to fight for his and all their families.” Whatever Hugh Stevenson’s reasons were, I hope that this account will serve as a small recognition of the contribution that he made to a conflict, that was fought in a way that will never be repeated.
I have taken the liberty of transforming the hardcopy version in my possession into a downladable searchable pdf.