12 January 2009

RIP: William Stone

William Stone (left) and HMS Hood survivor Ted Briggs

William Stone
23 Sep 1900 - 10 Jan 2009

Another World War I veteran has died. ZUI this article from the BBC:
One of only four surviving British veterans of World War I has died at the age of 108.

William Stone, from Watlington in Oxfordshire, was the last British serviceman to have seen active duty in both world wars.

Mr Stone, who was known as Bill, joined the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday in September 1918 and served on HMS Tiger.


Born in Ledstone, Kingsbridge, South Devon, on 23 September 1900, he followed his brothers into the navy, serving as a stoker.

During World War II he was a chief stoker on HMS Salamander and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, making five trips to pick up troops from the beaches.

Mr Stone also served in the Sicily landings of 1943 with HMS Newfoundland and was mentioned in despatches after a torpedo attack as the ship made its way back to Malta.


Mr Stone married Lily in 1938 and their daughter Anne was born the year after.

He went on to run a tobacconist and hairdressing shop in Devon, retiring in 1968 to move to Oxfordshire.

Mrs Stone died in 1995.


Mr Stone died on Saturday at the Masonic Care Home at Sindlesham near Wokingham, where he lived for the past two years.

Mr Stone, who remained in the Royal Navy from 1918 until 1945, served aboard the following ships:
HMS Tiger (battlecruiser) 1919-1922
HMS Hood (battlecruiser) 1922-1924
HMS Chrysanthemum (sloop) 1925-1927
HMS P40 (submarine chaser) 1928-29
HMS Eagle (aircraft carrier) 1929-1931
HMS Harebell (sloop) 1931-1933
HMS Thanet (destroyer, Reserve Fleet) 1934
HMS Tenedos (destroyer, Reserve Fleet) 1934
HMS Carlisle (light cruiser) 1934-1937
HMS Salamander (minesweeper) 1937-1941
HMS Newfoundland (light cruiser) 1941-1944

The HMS Hood Association has a page on Mr Stone at their website.

Update 1359 14 Jan: ZUI also this article from the MOD Defence News.

Update 1922 29 Jan: ZUI also this article from the MOD Defence News.
The funeral of William 'Bill' Stone, a former Chief Stoker in the Royal Navy and the last veteran to have served in both the first and second world wars, took place this afternoon in Oxfordshire.

Bearing the coffin at St Leonard's church in Watlington were six Royal Navy personnel, paying tribute to Mr Stone's long military career.

Behind the coffin Leading Logistician Jon Ryder, who accompanied Mr Stone at the 90th Anniversary of the Great War Armistice at the Cenotaph in November 2008, carried William's many medals on a cushion.

These included the British War Medal for his service in the First World War and, from the Second World War, the Atlantic Star, the Africa Star and the 1939-1945 War Medal decorated with an oak leaf for 'Mentioned in Despatches'.

Standard Bearers from The Royal Navy, The Royal Naval Association, The Royal British Legion, HMS Hood Association and The Dunkirk Veterans Association processed before the hearse to the church.


After the coffin was carried out of the church to the tune of 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye', a Royal Marines bugler sounded the Last Post and Reveille and the church bell was tolled 108 times, one for each year of Mr Stone's life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God speed Bill Stone

a small video to rember him, all his mates aboard the HMS HOOD