Page:The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.djvu/504

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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALASIAN BIOGRAPHY.

1854, he brought out to Nelson the first red deer, pheasants, and other animals and birds. On the outbreak of the Crimean war he returned to England, and was made principal superintendent of the Army Works Corps at the seat of war, being given the rank of lieutenant-colonel and employed in making the railway from Balaclava to Sebastopol. After the peace he travelled in Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, returning in 1863 to New Zealand, where he at first lived at Nelson, and subsequently at Sumner. He died suddenly at the latter place on Dec. 24th, 1876.

Walch, Garnet, the author and dramatist, is the youngest son of the late Major Walch, of her Majesty's 54th Regiment, and brother of the well-known publishers Messrs. Walch, of Tasmania. Mr. Walch was born in Tasmania in 1843, but passed some of his earlier years in England and on the Continent. On the completion of his education he returned to Australia, where he was at first engaged in commercial pursuits, but later on developed a taste for press work, and was employed as a writer on several of the leading papers of New South Wales. He also started a journal of his own, known as the Cumberland Times, but his first independent literary venture appeared as recently as 1870, when he published a series of Christmas stories, under the title of "Fireflash." At Christmas 1871 he produced his original extravaganza Trookulentos, which achieved great success. Removing to Victoria, toward the close of 1872, he produced True Blue Beard at the Prince of Wales' Theatre (now the Opera House), and early next year a burlesque entitled Pygmalion and his Gal a dear, followed by his extravaganzas Australia Felix and Adamatna, both played at the Opera House. In 1874 he published a volume of humorous verse and prose, "Head over Heels," and next year a grotesquely illustrated work styled "On the Cards." His next Melbourne pantomime was an adaptation of "Froggie would a-wooing go," while in Sydney was played his original version of Beauty and the Beast, the Theatre Royal of each city being the locale of production. In 1876, besides a variety of dramiettes written to introduce Dr. Silvester's ghost effects, Mr. Walch wrote his pantomime Hey Diddle Diddle for the Melbourne Theatre Royal, a fresh version of his Trookulentos being also played in New Zealand. Mr. Walch subsequently produced a dramatisation of "Helen's Babies" and a comedy styled Humble-pie, besides others which it is needless to enumerate. In addition to the above, Mr. Walch has written several localised versions of popular burlesques and bouffes and a number of descriptive lectures. Shortly after his arrival in Melbourne Mr. Walch was chosen out of a hundred and fifteen applicants to fill the post of secretary to the Melbourne Athenæum, the leading literary institute of Australia. This post he resigned in 1882. He edited a handsome illustrated volume entitled "Victoria in 1880," published locally.

Walcot, Captain John Cotterel Phillips, R.N., Naval Commandant, South Australia, entered the Royal Navy in 1863, became lieutenant in 1874, and commander on retirement in 1883. In April 1884 he was appointed captain of the South Australian gun-vessel Protector and Senior Officer of the Naval Forces of that colony. In Feb. 1891 he was given local seniority, with brevet rank as post captain.

Walker, George Washington, son of John Walker, was born in London on March 1st, 1800. The family belonged to Northumberland, and Mr. Walker was educated at Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he entered into business as a draper. In 1831 Mr. James Backhouse and Mr. Walker were accredited by the Society of Friends on a religious mission to the Australian colonies, especially with the view of endeavouring to improve the condition of the convict population. They arrived in Hobart in Feb. 1832, and began the work of their mission. They remained three years in Tasmania, visiting all the settled districts, inspecting chain gangs and convict stations, including those of Macquarie Harbour and Port Arthur. From Hobart they proceeded to Sydney, and spent two years in similar work in New South Wales, extending their travels to Moreton Bay (now Brisbane) and to Norfolk Island, which they found to be Macquarie Harbour over again with an extra shade of darkness. Their reports to the Governors of Tasmania and New South

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