Lambie, William J

William John Lambie (1860 – 1900)  covered the Boer War as correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, along with AB (Banjo) Paterson.  Described by Mark Dapin as, ‘talented but luckless’, Lambie travelled with fellow war reporters Joe (JD) Melvin and Alfred ‘Smiler’ Hales (2011: 46).  His report of the war in Sudan from Suakin (1885) is notable for its use of the first person and immersive style.

While Paterson, Hales and Melvin survived their war duties, Lambie was killed. He and Hales were separated from their Australian patrol and surprised by Boer fighters. When they attempted to escape on horseback Lambie was fatally shot, becoming the first recorded Australian war journalist to die in action.

Representative articles:


  • Dapin Mark (ed) (2011) The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing, Penguin/Viking, Melbourne