Stephen Harold Perry enlisted at Randwick on 18 August 1914, one of the district’s first men to do so. He was nearly 22 years of age, a draper by trade, and the fourth son and seventh child of Stephen and Betsey Perry of Moulder Street, Orange
Prior to enlistment in 1914 Stephen had spent four years as a junior and then senior cadet where he rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He, together with two other cadets, Stanley Roy Wasson and Malcolm Stewart were chosen as part of the Coronation Contingent who went to London for the coronation of George V in 1911.
An article appeared in the Orange Leader on 25 August 1914 stating that Sergeant S Perry had returned to Orange to bid farewell to his parents and friends before embarking for overseas service. Private Perry was part of the 2nd Battalion that left on Sydney on 18 October 1914 via HMAT Suffolk disembarking in Egypt on 8 December 1914. He saw time at Gallipoli but was hospitalised with a case of synovitis of the right knee and invalided to Australia via Hororata on 29 July 1915.
It is hard to keep a good man down and on 13 April 1916 Stephen re-embarked at Sydney via HMAT Ceramic and was sent to France. In 1917 he suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg and was returned to England to convalesce. He later had command of the Australian School of Musketry at Tidworth on the Salisbury Plain.
On his second return to Australia Stephen Perry married Elsie Vera Andrews of West Maitland in Redfern. He could have easily secured his release at this time but preferred to be with his friends overseas and on the front and so returned to the theatre of war a third time. His last tour of duty ended on 2 May 1919 when his appointment was terminated.
Two of his brothers, Reginald and Roy both served overseas. Reginald Gordon Perry was part of the 4th Battalion. Roy Stanley Perry served with the British Red Cross in Mesopotamia.
Stephen Harold Perry died on 7 January 1929 and is remembered on the Methodist Church Orange Roll of Honour and the Orange Public School Honour Roll.
* Sharon Jameson, August 2018