Who is George Essex Evans?

After a genteel start in life, born 1863 in Regents Park, London, George’s family fell on hard times after his father died. Exile to Wales was followed by emigration to Australia. He struggled here, not least because of increasing deafness, even from a young age. It is as a poet he is remembered and as is so often the case in that field, what is popular is not what is critically praised. Still, who needs the support of the critic when the PM is on your side? In Parliament after Evans’ death, Deakin mourned him as ‘Australia’s poet’. The copy we have us signed and inscribed by the poet to CC Kingston, another famous national politician of the early Federation period.

George Essex Evans
‘Australia’s Poet’

Wiki gives this story regarding the circumstances of his death.

Essex Evans was a great advocate for the construction of a new road northward across the Australia and after falling ill in 1909 he became the first passenger to be transported over it when taken to hospital. The men working on the road were so overcome with sorrow for the poet who had worked hard to bring about the new road that they relieved the ambulance men of their duty.

He soon died after surgery, in 1909, aged 46 years old.

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