Carrington, Francis Thomas Dean

Francis Thomas Dean Carrington (1843-1918), by Gaul & Dunn, 1868-69Francis Thomas Dean Carrington (1843-1918)
was born in London. He studied in Paris before moving to Melbourne in the 1860s and pursuing a career. He was a cartoonist for Melbourne Punch, and cartoonist and writer for the Australasian Sketcher.

His political cartoons were published across several newspapers and magazines, such as the Australian Journal, the Melbourne Punch, the Touchstone, and the Australasian. He also illustrated several books including Long Odds by Marcus Clarke and Punchialities from Punch.

He wrote for the Argus, under the pseudonym ‘Leonardo’ and for the Australasian under ‘Ixion’. His final cartoon, ‘The Last of the Session’, appeared in Punch on 15 December 1887.

In June 1880, alongside journalists George Allen (Melbourne Daily Telegraph), John McWhirter (Age), and JD Melvin (Argus), Carrington joined the special train accompanying the police to Glenrowan, to cover the last siege of Ned Kelly.

His article ‘Catching the Kellys: a personal narrative of one who went in the special train’ was published in The Australasian on Saturday 3 July, 1880. This article, written in the first person,  evocatively describes the siege and capture of Kelly at Glenrowan. It was republished across several newspapers, including the Argus and the West Australian. Carrington’s illustrations of the siege and its aftermath for the Australasian Sketcher are among his most famous drawings. Together, his words and images underpin the way Ned Kelly is remembered in Australian history and cultural mythology.

In 2003, Jones edited the mini-book, Ned Kelly The Last Stand, Written and Illustrated by an Eye Witness, which republished the Glenrowan account by Carrington within a personal and historical context.

Selected works:


Jones, I, (ed) (2003) Ned Kelly, The Last Stand, Written and Illustrated by an Eyewitness, Lothian: South Melbourne.

Willoughby, Howard

Howard Willoughby 1839-1908  began his journalism career with the  Age in 1861, but soon transferred to the Argus. 

As a literary journalist, Willoughby  wrote in the 1860s on the Maori Wars. His next major assignment was to report on the convict system in Western Australia when that colony was considering stopping transportation (the last colony to do so). His articles were published as a series in the Argus, then as the 1865 pamphlet, Transportation: The British Convict in Western Australia. In the preface to the supplement of the series, the Argus describes his articles as ‘letters’.

In 1866 Willoughby was also one of the first Hansard staff of the Victorian parliament. He became the first editor of the Melbourne Daily Telegraph in 1869, but returned to the Argus nearly a decade later, writing a weekly political column under the pseudonym, Timotheus and becoming editor in 1898. He remained as Argus editor until his death in 1908.

Representative articles



Melvin, J D

Joseph Dalgarno Melvin (1852 – 1909)  began his journalism career in Scotland as soon as he left school at the Moray Advertiser and the Perth Advertiser.  According to biographer Peter Corris, Melvin joined the Argus soon after arriving in Melbourne with his family, and reported on military and political news in the city.

In 1880, Melvin wrote a work of literary journalism on the last stand of the Kelly Gang at Glenrowan, Victoria, “The Destruction of the Kelly Gang”, joining the police hunt for the bushrangers during the siege and capture. He was accompanied by three other journalists George Allen (Melbourne Daily Telegraph); Thomas Carrington (Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil), and John McWhirter (Age).

In 1885, Melvin was the war correspondent in Sudan for the Daily Telegraph and The Bulletin, despite initially not having official credentials. He teamed up with fellow war reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, W.J Lambie.

In 1892, Melvin wrote a series of articles titled, “The Kanaka Labour Traffic” for the Argus’ Saturday paper, the Australasian,  about the practice of recruiting South Sea islanders for Queensland’s sugar cane plantations. Additional articles were published in the Argus and the series was syndicated.

He worked undercover signing on to the Helena as crew for its round trip from Queensland to the Solomon Islands. Peter Corris published Melvin’s full series of articles as  The Cruise of the Helena (1977).

In later years, Melvin joined political staff as a Hansard writer in 1905, then worked for the politician William Kidston in Queensland as his speech writer.

Selected Articles:


The series of 13 articles Melvin wrote for the Argus on “The Kanaka Labour Traffic” appeared as the following:



Corris, P (ed) (1977) The Cruise of the Helena, Hawthorn Press, Melbourne



Paterson A B (Banjo)

banjo-paterson-at-campsite-1Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson  (1864-1941)best known as a bush poet, was also a journalist and war correspondent.  He began writing journalism in the 1890s, contributing prose pieces about his travels through the Northern Territory and other places to the Sydney Mail, the Pastoralists’ Review, the Australian Town and Country Journal, the Lone Hand and the Bulletin.

In 1899, he sailed to South Africa to cover the Boer War for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age as their war correspondent. While there, he was attached to General French’s column from where he reported on the capture of Pretoria, the relief of Kimberley and the surrender of Bloemfontein. Because of the quality of his reporting, he was appointed a correspondent on the war for Reuters.

Paterson returned to Sydney in 1900 and sailed to China the following year as a roving correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald. From 1903 till 1908, he was editor of the Sydney Evening News. When World War 1 broke out, he sailed to England hoping to cover the fighting from Flanders, but this was not to be. He returned to Australia in 1915 and was commissioned in the 2nd Remount Unit, Australian Imperial Force and served in the Middle East.

After the war ended, Paterson continued his journalism, contributing articles to both the Sydney Mail and Smith’s Weekly before becoming editor of the Sydney Sportsman in 1922.  In 1934, his memoir of famous people he had met on his travels over the previous four decades was published as Happy Dispatches. In1939, the year he was appointed C.B.E, he wrote reminiscences for the Sydney Morning Herald. Two years later, he died after a short illness and was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Collected Prose by A B “Banjo” Paterson, Project Gutenberg. e-book.
  • Off Down the Track: Racing and Other Yarns, Campbell, R and Harvie, P (ed’s), Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, 1986.
  • From the Front: A. B. (Banjo) Paterson’s Dispatches from the Boer War, Droogleever, R.W.F (ed), Pan Macmillan: Sydney, 2002.

A number of Paterson’s non-fiction stories, particularly concerning his favourite sport, horse racing, can be found in Haynes, J (ed), The Best Australian Yarns and Other True Stories, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2013.

Representative examples:

Town and Country:

Boer War Reporting: