John Victor Stephens was born at Wallasey in 1897 and educated at Liverpool College. In 1915 he joined the Royal Engineers and served on the Western Front. He gained a BEng and BSc at Liverpool University before joining the Geological Survey of Great Britain in 1922. During World War II he was a Major in the 15th Army Group of the Combined Mediterranean Forces and was involved in the Italian campaign of 1943-44. He retired from the Geological Survey in 1967and died at Harrogate on 23 March 1980.