Lives of the fellows

Arthur Graham Stephenson

b.4 August 1916 d.16 December 1990
MRCS LRCP(1940) MB BS Lond(1940) MRCP(1949)FRCP(1973)

Graham Stephenson was born at Gateshead on Tyne, Co Durham, where his father Arthur Stephenson was an industrial psychologist and management consultant. The family moved to London and Graham was educated at St Paul’s School and the University of London, his clinicals being undertaken at University College Hospital. Shortly after qualification he joined the RAMC as a lieutenant and from 1941-42 served with the 223 Field Ambulance. On his promotion to captain he saw active service with the 51st Highland Division in the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and north west Europe.

On return to civilian life, Graham became house physician at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital and subsequently supernumerary medical registrar at the Metropolitan Hospital, Kingsland Road, London. It was here that he met his future wife Vera Alice, née Watkins, the daughter of a manufacturing chemist. They married in 1949, the same year in which he obtained his membership of the College.

In 1950 he was appointed medical registrar at Derby City Hospital and two years later he moved on to Warwick Hospital as senior medical registrar, spending the rest of his working days in South Warwickshire. He very soon became interested in the problems of the elderly and in 1957 was appointed SHMO with the task of establishing a geriatric service to cover the whole of South Warwickshire. This required considerable administrative skill as well as clinical commitment, and by the time he became the first consultant geriatrician for the area in 1963 an integrated service had been established. He continued to run the geriatric department unaided until 1969, when a second consultant was appointed.

Graham was a man of few words - quiet and hardworking. It was an indication of the esteem in which he was held that the first day unit to be established in the district was named the Stephenson Unit. Never in robust health, he had to retire prematurely in 1977. Thereafter his health steadily deteriorated and he was housebound in his latter years. During his long illness he was devotedly cared for by his wife and his adopted daughter, Caroline.

K D Lee

(Volume IX, page 501)

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