Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Henry George Lamond (1885–1969)

by Nancy Bonnin

This article was published:

Henry George Lamond (1885-1969), writer, was born on 13 June 1885 at Carl Creek in Queensland's Gulf country, second of three children of Scottish-born James Lamond, a sub-inspector of police, and his wife Amy Brooke, née Shadforth, from Victoria. Educated at state schools, Brisbane Grammar School and Queensland Agricultural College, Gatton, in 1902 Henry became a jackeroo on Maneroo station, near Longreach. On 27 June 1910 at Maneroo he married with Anglican rites Eileen Meta Olive (d.1968), daughter of William McMillan, the former owner. Lamond worked on western Queensland properties in various jobs from horse-breaker to manager before leasing the six Molle Islands, off Proserpine, in 1927. He farmed on South Molle and began a mail service to the mainland, then moved to a farm at Lindum, Brisbane, in 1937.

In the 1920s Lamond (who pronounced his surname to rhyme with Hammond) had begun writing short stories, articles on natural history, and advice on handling cattle and sheep. His work appeared in journals such as Queensland Country Life, Walkabout, the Bulletin, Farmer and Settler and the Pastoral Review; in the United States of America his writings were published in Atlantic Monthly, Adventure and Short Stories. His first monograph, Horns and Hooves (London, 1931), was followed by a collection of tales, Tooth and Talon (Sydney, 1934), and by An Aviary on the Plains (Sydney, 1934). He published more than a dozen books, mostly novels about animals, among them Brindle Royalist (Sydney, 1947) and Red Ruin Mare (London, 1956). His work won popularity in Australia, England and the U.S.A. Regarded as classics of their genre, his novels were studied in Australian schools.

During the Depression Lamond had supported his family by subsistence farming and writing. From the mid-1930s he augmented his income by giving talks on the wireless for the Australian Broadcasting Commission; like his books, his speech was 'littered with bush colloquialisms'. A recognized authority on the early history of the large Australian stations, he had an unrivalled knowledge of the Queensland outback. John Hetherington considered him 'exactly what you would expect an author of action stories to be. He is about 6 ft [183 cm] tall, with massive shoulders . . . his face is craggy . . . Using a salty idiom and punctuating his narrative with racy anecdotes, he talks in a strong, rather rough-throated outdoor man's voice'. Lamond scoffed at pretentiousness and was a master of the flippant comment. With scant respect for those who placed great store in their ancestors, he wrote of his forebear Thomas Shadforth: 'He may have been in charge [of convicts], or he may have been one of them. I neither know nor care'. Lamond was appointed M.B.E. in 1968.

Survived by his daughter and one of his two sons, he died on 12 July 1969 in his home at Greenslopes, Brisbane, and was cremated. A plaque on Lamond Hill, South Molle, commemorates him, his wife and their son Hal who was killed in 1942 while serving with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Select Bibliography

  • C. Hadgraft, Queensland and its Writers (Brisb, 1959)
  • S. Torre, The Australian Short Story, 1940-1980 (Syd, 1984)
  • Age (Melbourne), 11 Mar 1961, 'Literary Supplement', p 18
  • Hoofs and Horns, Aug 1969
  • Pastoral Review, 18 Aug 1969, p 681
  • Telegraph (Brisbane), 12 July 1969
  • Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 13 July 1969
  • Lamond papers (State Library of Queensland)
  • H. G. Lamond, Contributions Towards a Bibliography (University of Queensland Library)
  • private information.

Citation details

Nancy Bonnin, 'Lamond, Henry George (1885–1969)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 22 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (Melbourne University Press), 2000

View the front pages for Volume 15

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


13 June, 1885
Burketown, Queensland, Australia


12 July, 1969 (aged 84)
Greenslopes, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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