A Journalist’s Memories by Spencer Browne


25117 BROWNE, Spencer;
The Read Press, Brisbane,1927.

8vo.pp.viii + 351, index.portrait photographs.Original red cloth hardcover,spine very slightly sunned.else a Very Good copy

$140.00 AUD


“Reginald Spencer Browne (1856-1943), journalist and soldier,

Browne joined the Brisbane Courier in 1882 and stayed there for nearly all his working life. As associate editor of the Queenslander, he discovered and encouraged the poet George Essex Evans. Commissioned in the Queensland Mounted Infantry on 20 December 1887, he was said to have found work briefly on the London press to facilitate military study. He published Romances of the Goldfield and Bush, a volume of slight prose sketches, in London in 1890.

Browne commanded a flying column of his regiment in western Queensland during the shearers’ strike of 1891 but was, nevertheless, always sympathetic to trade-unionism. He was promoted captain in 1891 and major in 1896. In November 1899 he sailed for South Africa as a special-service officer with the first Queensland contingent, carrying the local rank of major. With active service in many fields, he was appointed C.B., received the Queen’s Medal with five clasps, was invalided to Australia in November 1900 and mentioned in dispatches in 1901. His return to Brisbane was a triumph.

“On 4 March 1915 Browne joined the Australian Imperial Force as colonel commanding the 4th Light Horse Brigade; when it was broken up he took over the 6th Infantry Brigade at Gallipoli, at the age of 59. He served at Lone Pine and Quinn’s Post and was evacuated on 10 December but, too old for further active service, was given charge of the Australian Training and General Base Depot at Tel-el-kebir, Egypt, on 20 March 1916 as brigadier general. Publication by him in 1915 of The Heroic Serbians won him the order of the Serbian Red Cross. In 1916 in England he commanded the Australian Training Depot on Salisbury Plain, then moved to No.2 Command Depot at Weymouth where he probably met the novelist Thomas Hardy. He returned to Australia, unfit, in November 1917, commanded the Molonglo Concentration Camp at Canberra from February to December 1918, was then demobilized, and was formally retired on 20 October 1921 as honorary major general. For two years he was State president of the Returned Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Imperial League of Australia.

Between 1925 and 1927 Browne contributed a weekly article to the Courier, giving his memories of men and events in the Queensland of his time. These were published as A Journalist’s Memories (1927); the book is still the source of much of both the history and legend of Queensland.”

Taken from an  article  published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (MUP), 1979