In Memoriam

Remembering service people associated with Tintern who gave their lives in combat.

Omar Alfred Stevens

Omar is one of the service people who we remember in Tintern during our annual Remembrance Service. He was born in 1880 to Charles and Sarah Stevens in Farnham, Surrey, where he spent his childhood with his siblings Edith, Herbert, Lily and Vernon. By 1911 he was a 30-year old Petty Officer 1st Class in the Royal Navy, serving in Portsmouth. He married Alice Louisa Mears in Chelsea in 1915 and in 1918 their son Omar Herbert Stevens was born in Tendring, Essex.

On leaving the Navy, Omar took up the position of Caretaker of Tintern Abbey and he and his family moved into Beaufort Cottage. Tragically, his son Omar Herbert then aged 16 was killed in a motor accident in Tintern and was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, Chapel Hill on Wednesday, 25th April 1934.

Omar was still in the Royal Navy Reserve when war broke out in 1939 and he was recalled to serve as an Instructor in Portsmouth. In 1941, CPO Stevens was serving on HMS Victory in Portsmouth when the Victory sustained damage from a 500-pound bomb dropped by the Luftwaffe. It destroyed one of the steel cradles and part of the foremast. He died on 27th April 1941 and was buried in Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery. Hampshire. This means that Omar Stevens was the last sailor to die through combat on HMS Victory. No doubt his posting to Portsmouth and to the Victory was considered to be a safe billet for a sailor of his age (61).