Adrian Consett Stephen

in College 1910-12; son of Alfred Consett Stephen (solicitor), and Kate Stephen; at school at Sydney Grammar; editor of The Pauline and of Hermes and author of Four Plays (1918); BA LLB.

Captain (acting Major), Royal Field Artillery (Mentioned in Despatches, MC and Croix de Guerre avec palme); killed in action, Zillebeke, Belgium, 14 March 1918, aged 25.

Obituary in The Pauline, by Sub-Warden, Frederick McKeown:

Adrian Consett Stephen was always a big influence and a real leader at St Paul’s, having an enthusiasm for the good of the College and its best traditions that was infectious. He seemed to have the power of creating an atmosphere of unity and good-fellowship and desire for the common good, and that more by practice than by precept. … He believed in the importance of being earnest, but he believed still more in the importance of being earnest humorously. …

Again, he may be said to have fathered St Paul’s in its literary and dramatic efforts and aspirations. He was the prime mover in the inauguration of the College Magazine, and was the guiding genius of its earlier numbers which will be ever memorable for the original and entertaining articles he contributed. …

He would also have liked the whole College to have kept in touch with English literature and the drama, and there is no doubt that he did by means of these draw many out of a too heavy devotion to routine and talking “shop”. But he would often shake his head over men of the Medical and Engineering faculties and say that he thought them hopeless Philistines. And yet, for all that, he numbered amongst these some of his best friends, and whether they were interested in drama or not they always regarded Adrian’s appearance with the University Dramatic Society as one of the events of the year. For he never lacked friends, and they were real friends who always remembered him, and whom he always remembered in after life. And this is the consummation of College life, if not of all life.

Citation for the Military Cross:

While in command temporarily of his battery, under very heavy enemy shell fire, during an S.O.S. action, set a magnificent example to his men.  To maintain the necessary fire he himself manned one of the guns, and during the same action attended to an carried into safety a badly wounded N.C.O.   His example and courage sent a great way to enable the battery to be kept in action, as the battery was being very heavily shelled.  Two days later this officer, by his coolness and resource, was the mens of saving life during a very intense bombardment.

An obituary and photograph appeared in Hermes, the student magazine, June 1918, pp. 43-4.