Thanks for that, Tim.
After reading your post, I checked Agnes Stevenson (née
Lawson) on Wikipedia
and I see there is now an approximate date of birth for her and a middle name, of which I had previously been unaware. There is also a slight error (which I may amend): it gives her husband Rufus Stevenson as 'editor of the British Chess Magazine' whereas he was in fact Home News editor (although referred to as co-editor in what appears below). Not sure why I haven't spotted that before (it has been on the Wiki page ab initio
) as it rather jumped off the page at me this time. I shall also have to amend what I have on Britbase
to include her approximate date of birth and middle name. I don't recall seeing her middle name/initial in chess sources - has anyone else spotted a reference to 'Miss A.B. Lawson' or a 'Mrs A.B.Stevenson'?
Gaige (Chess Personalia) has two entries for Agnes under her two surnames but both read the same:
Gaige, Chess Personalia wrote:Lawson, Miss Agnes ENG
Stevenson, Mrs. Rufus Henry Streatfeild
died 20-08-1935, Poznan POL
BCM, 1935, p.393, p.454-455
(London)Times, Aug. 21, 1935, p.10, c.7
The BCM Obituary...
BCM, 1935, p393-394 wrote:MRS. AGNES STEVENSON.
21st August, 1935.—The terrible tragedy reported in the newspapers this morning will come as a shock to the whole chess world, and the sympathy of thousands of chessplayers will go out to our co-editor, R. H. S. Stevenson, in the deplorable accident which has resulted in the death of his wife, who was on her way to Warsaw to help England in the Ladies’ Championship of the World. She had arrived at Posen on Tuesday, the 20th, by aeroplane from Berlin, and after having completed the passport formalities she was returning to the aeroplane. Thinking it was just leaving she ran for it, and unfortunately approached the front instead of the cabin. The propellers, which had just been started, hit her on the head and killed her instantaneously.
Next month we shall hope to give, through a friend, a more intimate obituary of this charming lady, whose loss, not only to us, the editors of the British Chess Magazine, but to a very large circle of friends, will be irreparable.
We had the pleasure of knowing her as Miss Lawson in the early days of the British Ladies’ Championship, when despite her non-success she was always cheerful. After her marriage to Mr. Stevenson she played regularly in the championship, and was invariably one of the leaders. In 1920 she tied with Miss Price for the Championship at Edinburgh, and won the play-off. In 1921, at Malvern, she was fourth, half a point behind the three leaders, who had tied with 8 points each. In 1922, at the Open Tournament in London, she was one point behind Miss Price, who won the first prize. She tied for the third and fourth places at Southsea in 1923, and was second to Miss Price at Southport in 1924. She won at Stratford in 1925, and again at Edinburgh in 1926. At Tenby she was again second to Miss Price. At Ramsgate in 1929 she tied for the second prize. At Scarborough in 1930 she tied with Miss Hooke and won the play-off. At Worcester in 1931 she tied for third place. At London in 1932 there was a triple tie for first place, but she lost to Mrs. Michell in the play-off. She tied for third and fourth place at Hastings in 1933, and was fourth at Chester in 1934. This year she was third at Great Yarmouth. As Mrs. Michell was unable to go to Warsaw, she and Mrs. Holloway had agreed to represent England in the Open Tournament.
Of course, in addition to her participation annually at the Congresses, Mrs. Stevenson was known as a strong competitor in the London Chess League matches for Lewisham, and also in the County matches for Kent. She was a very attacking player, and never gave up hope.
Quite apart from her chess prowess, her cheerfulness and good sense endeared her to everybody.
Knowing the great affection between husband and wife, we cannot find words to express our deep sympathy for R. H. S. Stevenson, and we know we shall be speaking for all our readers.
The promised appreciation, by Edith Michell, and another unnamed friend, in the following issue...
BCM, 1935, pps. 454-455 wrote:MRS. R. H. S. STEVENSON.
An Appreciation. By Edith Michell.
It was at Shrewsbury in 1906 that I first met Mrs. Stevenson, then Agnes Lawson. Her lively interest in a variety of subjects, and her ready sympathy with all fresh schemes and personalities made her an invigorating companion. Her generous and sporting attitude, and her quickness to acknowledge and appreciate the success of others gave her an added attraction. Although we were often rivals in the chess world, she was always the first to congratulate me on any success of mine.
An ardent tennis player, her first meeting with her future husband was not at the chess board, but on the tennis court, and every congress until quite recent times saw her with a tennis racquet.
Swimming was almost a necessity to her. Last July at Great Yarmouth she was in the water every morning before breakfast, and sometimes by moonlight as well.
Music was one of her many interests, especially the opera, and I can well remember when we travelled to Merano together for a chess congress and stopped the night at Milan, I, being tired out with a sleepless night on the train, went straight to bed, but she made straight for the opera house. She once told me that she had seen Faust nine times.
Going to the Zoo with her was a revelation of her marvellous aptitude for winning the friendship of the animal world. The shyest would approach her confidently. The parrots in particular were her pets, and the fiercest cockatoo would allow himself to be freely handled by her.
A charming characteristic was the way she befriended young newcomers to the chess congresses. Many a lonely chessplayer in England for the first time, was made to feel at home through her kindness, and there are few players of note who have not received a welcome at her house.
Of her activities in chess organisation and her energy in collecting funds for any chess adventure, others can speak better than I, but we all know that through her death English chess has lost one of its greatest supporters and zealous workers.
A friend writes :—
It is impossible to estimate the loss which the Imperial Chess Club has sustained by the untimely death of Mrs. Stevenson, who had the welfare of the club greatly at heart and was indefatigable in her efforts to promote its interest. She was ever ready to conduct lightning tournaments, simultaneous displays, etc., no matter how great the amount of trouble involved.
For the post of match captain she possessed exceptional qualifications ; she inspired her team with much of her own enthusiasm, and the success which the club has met with in a good percentage of their matches for several seasons must be attributed to the devoted and untiring efforts of its captain.
Over the board she was an original and very rapid player and many of her characteristics, such as courage, love of adventure and perhaps, impetuosity, were reflected in her game. A delightful opponent, modest in victory and gracious in defeat, whether in tournaments, matches or “ skittles," it was always a pleasure to play with her.
In addition to her several successes as British woman champion, already recorded in the September number of the B.C.M. it should also be mentioned that she held the women’s championship of the Empire Social Chess Club for the current year.
Her death has left a great blank that will be felt, not only amongst her friends of the Imperial Chess Club, but throughout the world of chess.
(a line across the page here indicates the end of the above contribution and the start of an announcement)
The funeral of Mrs. A. Stevenson took place at Wandsworth Cemetery on Tuesday, September 3, the body having been brought by sea from Poland. There were at least fifty chessplayers and friends present. Six large wreaths came from Poland, the largest had a printed inscription from the British team at Warsaw, another was from the British Vice-Consul of Poland, and another from Mrs. Shannon, the Irish representative of the women’s team at Warsaw. Three other large wreaths had inscriptions in Russian characters.
The Times obituary referred to above...
The Times, 21 August 1935, p10 wrote:WOMAN CHESS PLAYER KILLED
MRS. STEVENSON'S DEATH IN POLAND
FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT
WARSAW. Aug. 20 
Mrs. R. H. Stevenson was killed in an accident at Poznan Aerodrome this afternoon. She was flying to Warsaw to take part in the women's tournament for the Championship of the World, having been selected by the British Chess Federation to represent England in that event, and on returning to the machine after alighting for passport formalities was struck by the airscrew.
Her husband is secretary of the Southern Counties Chess Union and match captain of the Kent County Chess Association. Mrs. Stevenson had held the British women’s championship on several occasions, and both she and her husband have done a great amount of work for chess in England.
The Wikipedia page has this link
to one of Edward Winter's Chess Notes (No.7565), courtesy of his correspondent Christian Sánchez of Rosario, Argentina. Basically, Christian tells us that Agnes's middle name was Bradley (which was her mother's maiden name) and that she was born in the 4th quarter of 1873 in Hartlepool, Durham, being baptised on 30 November 1873 in Stranton in West Hartlepool. I've had a look on Ancestry and this all checks out. Agnes was listed as a school teacher in the censuses of 1901 and 1911, when she lived with her widowed mother in Hartlepool. She married Rufus Stevenson in Hartlepool in 1912.