Driver George Alexander Stevenson

Service number 10935
Birth Date 1887
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Hotham
Death Date 1948
Final Rank Driver
Unit 3rd Australian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company
Place Hotham
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

George Alexander Stevenson was born at Hotham, Victoria, in 1887, to Peter and Emily (née Orr) Stevenson. Before joining the AIF, Stevenson performed as a singer at musical theatre venues in Melbourne, frequently at The Follies Theatre in St Kilda, where the songs he performed included patriotic themes, including “Soldiers and Comrades”, and popular songs such as “I Hear You Calling Me”.

Stevenson enlisted in the AIF on 27 January 1916, listing his trade as “professional vocalist”, before embarking on 3 June 1916 on HMAT Persic with the 3 Divisional Train, Army Service Corps. He served as a Driver in the 3rd Divisional Supply Column, and a Private in the 3rd Divisional Mechanical Transport Company in France. By Januar y 1918 Stevenson had become involved with The Coo-ees, a concert party and theatre troupe of Australian troops described in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine as “official purveyors of mirth and music to the Oval Division”. With The Coo-ees, Stevenson performed songs such as “The Battle Eve” and other duets.

Beginning in December 1916 with six members struggling to acquire costumes and music to perform, by April 1918 the troupe had 30 performers, including a small orchestra. Jollity in the face of hardship was a constant theme. The reverse of their concert programs published in October 1918 stated “It has to be realised that the conditions under which this work has been done are not favourable. Sometimes in a shell-torn hall in some shattered village, sometimes in an old barn, and always with the evidences of war around. The work has gone on and always with the same cheerfulness and desire to do all that was possible for the man whose few hours’ respite has been so well-earned”.

Stevenson returned to Australia on HMAT Orita in mid-1919, and after some performances in the early 1920s, he seems to have vanished from the public eye. He died in 1948.



Date of birth 1887
Date of enlistment 27 January 1916
Date of embarkation 03 June 1916
Date returned to Australia 23 June 1919
Date of death 1948