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Australians in Britain: The Twentieth-Century Experience




This chapter explores the experiences of Australian journalists who worked on Fleet Street between 1900 and the outbreak of the Second World War. Concentrating on several individuals, it considers the powerful lure of Fleet Street, the reasons for departure from Australia, first impressions of London, the opportunities provided by being abroad, experiences of success and failure, working and social life, and the particular challenges and opportunities facing women journalists. It examines the theme of education in the public writings and private reflections of Australians who worked on Fleet Street, and reflects on the circularity and complexity of the imperial journalistic experience.

Long before the ‘Dirty Digger’, Rupert Murdoch, made his mark on the newspaper landscape of London, Australian journalists were working on Fleet Street.1 In When London Calls: The Expatriation of Australian Creative Artists to Britain, Stephen Alomes notes that many Australians other than the high profile Germaine Greer, Barry Humphries, Clive James and John Pilger have been based in London.2 Situating his study in the decades following the Second World War, Alomes makes an important contribution to our understanding of the factors that propelled Australian writers, journalists, artists and actors to live for a time, or permanently, in Britain.

This chapter addresses the experiences of Australian journalists on Fleet Street between 1900 and the outbreak of the Second World War. This is a particularly interesting period as in the late nineteenth century cable rates had fallen, making it possible for Australians to participate in British public life on a day-to-day basis; and, as we shall see, in the early twentieth century the Australian press was flourishing and Australian journalism was becoming increasingly professionalised.3 While travel was both slower and more expensive than in the postwar period, so many Australian journalists made the journey to London in the first decades of the twentieth century that they could be said to constitute a ‘tradition’. The chapter focuses on individual Australian journalists who worked on Fleet Street: Louise Mack and (later Sir) Keith Murdoch in the 1900s; Florence James and G.W. Warnecke in the interwar years; and Alan Moorehead, Noel Monks and Robert Raymond and his family in the 1930s. These journalists have been selected because they give a cross-section of male and female experiences in the decades before the Second World War, and because accounts of their activities in London are extant.

Under consideration are the ‘imagined’ Fleet Street, the reasons for departure, first impressions of London, experiences of success and failure on Fleet Street, working and social life, and the particular opportunities and challenges facing women journalists. The principal focus is on Australians who worked for the London press, although passing references will be made to some journalists who worked in the London bureaux of Australian newspapers. Wartime experiences are not considered at any length; Murdoch’s activities in the First World War warrant a separate study, as do Australia’s distinguished correspondents in the Second World War.

Journalism is a peripatetic profession. As Alomes points out, journalism is about ‘journeys’, a word that is itself linked etymologically to the French journée (the day) and journal (a newspaper as well as a diary of events).4 The dreams of journalists often involved other newspapers, other towns, other editors and other stories. Elizabeth Morrison has compared Australian journalists to roving actors, performing before any audience that could ‘understand the language and respond to the play’. Journalists worked their way around country towns and the six capital cities, in search of a more expansive canvas for their work.5 In 1902 22-year-old R.C. Packer left the Tasmanian Mail for Sydney because it was ‘the biggest place possible on this side of the world’. In 1920 17-year-old C.S. McNulty, who had been working in Perth, came to Sydney and joined Truth.6 Some journalists spread their wings even further, to the sub-imperial South Pacific of New Guinea and Fiji. Numerous New Zealand journalists aspired to ‘make it’ in Australia, and there were also Australian journalists who took up positions in New Zealand.7 This traffic was facilitated, in part, by links between the labour press in the two countries.

For some journalists, such as Packer, this internal or trans-Tasman migration was challenge enough. But many others regarded working in Sydney or Melbourne as a stepping-stone to something larger. In their daily work and in their inner city, nocturnal existences, journalists met ‘everyone’, from politicians to police, prostitutes to theatrical performers, and actors to artists. As they interviewed visiting celebrities and (male reporters, at least) yarned in pubs, journalists dreamed of escaping the daily grind and furthering their careers overseas. Curious and migratory, journalists were drawn towards the next big story – somewhere else.8

That ‘somewhere else’ was usually London. In recent years both Ros Pesman and Alomes have explored the place of ‘Home’ and the ‘Mother Country’ in the Australian psyche. Ever since convicts had been transported to Australia, and soldiers and free settlers had crossed the seas, the return to Britain had been culturally important. The ‘overseas trip’ was a ritual event, a rite of passage and, it was generally believed, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The colonial tradition associated Britain, especially London, with the mind and ‘culture’, and Australians were pulled to London by career possibilities in journalism, writing and theatre.9

By the end of the nineteenth century Australians were literate and wealthy enough to buy newspapers on a per capita basis far in excess of their British contemporaries. A prolific and diverse press flourished, with an enormous range of titles published, until the emergence of publishing chains in the 1920s. Alomes’s assertion, then, that the culture of Australian journalists was ‘predominantly that of suburban career values’ fails to acknowledge the diversity and the challenges of journalistic culture and career paths in Australia.10 Australian newspapers were either metropolitan or provincial, and city newsrooms were bohemian rather than suburban.11

Journalism remained the mainstay of colonial literary production because publishing books locally was expensive and the market was small. Novelists, poets and playwrights sought from journalism their basic source of income and, as we shall see, many Australian journalists went to England intent on developing their craft as creative writers.12 Alomes is right to point out that Australian journalists felt constrained by the essential parochialism of their metropolitan newspapers, which were produced for capital city markets. The fact that London’s newspapers, by contrast, had a national audience was a powerful drawcard for Australians such as Robert Raymond, who joined the Daily Sketch in 1940. He recalls his excitement at 9 p.m. when the presses would start running so that the early edition could ‘catch the trains ... for the dash through the night to the remotest corners of the kingdom’.13 Journalists who remained in Australia did not have the opportunity to write for a national daily newspaper until the Australian Financial Review and the Australian in the early 1960s.

Just as London was ‘Home’ for Australians, Fleet Street was the ‘home’ of the Fourth Estate. Fleet Street extends eastwards from Temple Bar as far as Ludgate Circus. Taking its name from the Fleet River, Fleet Street was sandwiched between the cities of London and Westminster and occupied a strategic importance in the Middle Ages. It was the chief western artery into London and connected the king’s palace and the courts at Westminster. Even before William Caxton set up the first printing press in 1477 in Westminster, Fleet Street was the centre of literacy in Britain as a result of the activities of the Order of the Knights Templar and the Carmelites of Fleet Street and nearby Whitefriars.14

Fleet Street became the home of booksellers and printers, and papers were stamped at Somerset House before despatch. By the mid-eighteenth century Fleet Street had emerged as the main distribution centre for most of London’s newspapers and a Mecca for tourists. The proliferating coffee houses provided a sort of ‘club’ and ‘press room’ for some of the best-informed men in Europe. For most visitors, especially those from overseas, Fleet Street represented Dr Johnson’s London and a chance to see the literati at their leisure. The term ‘Fleet Street’ refers in part to the many lanes and alleyways leading off it, and the street itself was in an almost constant state of realignment. Between 1880 and 1914, its south side east of Temple Bar was set back. This geographical realignment coincided with important changes in the role of the newspaper. In the late nineteenth century the mass production methods of the American newspaper industry thoroughly altered the small family business concerns of Fleet Street. W.T. Stead and Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) transformed English journalism.15

For Australian journalists, Fleet Street was the spiritual and physical home of the old journalism – papers of record and opinion – and the ‘New Journalism’,16 designed to appeal to the newly literate lower and lower-middle classes. Australian journalists embarked on the voyage for a number of reasons. The Melbourne Herald’s Alan Moorehead ‘yearned to go abroad, to get to the centre of things and events that I had been hearing about all my life’. He put every penny he could aside to ‘escape – at first to London’ and then, perhaps, ‘the whole world’. Arriving in London in 1936, he had the feeling ‘that at last I was in the centre of the world instead of being on the periphery’. His compatriot Noel Monks, who had gone to London a little earlier, entitled his autobiography Eyewitness, suggesting that from the vantage point of Fleet Street he was an eyewitness to ‘real’ history.17

Other Australian journalists, particularly women, were escaping from or delaying marriage. Louise Mack, author of the popular books Teens (1897) and Girls Together (1898), wrote the ‘Woman’s Letter’ for the hugely popular and irreverent weekly newspaper, the Bulletin. By 1900 her marriage to a barrister was floundering as a result of his drinking binges and bankruptcy, and she decided to flee to London. To avoid awkward questions, the 30-year-old let her family and friends think that she was going away for a short time because of work.18

Florence James, who was born in New Zealand in 1902, came to Sydney with her family in 1920. As a result of her father’s engineering career the family had lived a migratory existence, but James seems to have been particularly influenced by her time at St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland. Here she had been encouraged to write for the school magazine by her female English teacher, who had a degree in political science and mathematics. In Sydney James was sent to the Conservatorium of Music and then moved on to the University of Sydney, where she was awarded the University Medal for Philosophy in 1926. On graduating James immediately started work in her father’s office to earn her fare to Europe for her ‘Grand Tour’. She also became involved with the Theosophical Society, through which she met her fiancé William John (‘Pym’) Heyting, a young Dutch lawyer reared in Indonesia. In September 1927 James left for London, ostensibly to further her writing career, on the understanding that she would return and the couple would be married by the end of 1928.19

At farewell parties, journalists usually contributed a sovereign to a purse for their departing colleague. By the time Mack boarded her ship in April 1901 she was physically and emotionally exhausted, as she was also leaving behind her marriage. Journalists watched with some trepidation as their ‘Not Wanted on Voyage’ bags – often containing a typewriter – disappeared into the ship’s hold. As streamers stretched and parted and the hooter gave its throbbing blast, James stood on the deck of the Balranald and ‘waved vigorously to the dear figures’ beside Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a historic landmark on Sydney’s harbour foreshore.20

Using ship stationery, journalists wrote long letters to their families and friends during the 12,000-mile voyage, which lasted about two months. James wrote effusively to her younger sister about the tennis, concerts and dances she and her female companion were enjoying. Tall and strikingly attractive, James became particularly friendly with a young South African science student travelling to Cambridge, ‘so you can imagine the interesting talks’.21 The extroverted and temperamental Mack, however, was disappointed with her fellow passengers. She had hoped to meet ‘all kinds of delightful charming cultivated people ... and we would talk about Shelley and Rossetti and Chopin and Italy and Greece and Paris, or they would talk and I would listen’. Mack felt let down; her classical education was not getting off to a good start, as she was surrounded by more ‘plain, homely uninteresting BODS’ than she had ever seen in her life.22

By April 1908 22-year-old Keith Murdoch, a reporter on the Melbourne Age, had saved enough money for his fare and invested £500 in bonds to keep him for at least a year. He had three goals: to expand his newspaper experience, study at the London School of Economics and seek advice for a humiliating stammer.23 Murdoch, travelling steerage, was seasick and nervous about socialising because of his speech impediment. This was the first time that he had been away from his large family and his long letters to his father, a Presbyterian minister, were a mixture of anxiety and grim determination:


I am dreading these first weeks in London. My stammering has not [been] improved by the trials of the voyage and I hardly feel fit. But I am determined to make a name here before I leave the place, and I’m sure I won’t leave even should it cost me every penny I possess until I’m better qualified for good journalistic work.24

During the voyage, journalists stopped at ports such as Colombo, travelled through the Mediterranean and had their first taste of the ‘Continent’. Despite her misgivings about her companions, Mack was enthralled by what she saw as the exoticism of the Orient and the sophistication and antiquity of Europe. A thrill went through ‘this raw Australian breast – Age, age, antiquity, romance. Coffee!’ As Pesman observes, the objective of travel was the past as much as the present. White Australia was young; it was above all the past, and a romanticised past, that most Australian travellers sought.25

Mack arrived in Tilbury in 1901 expecting an overwhelming throng of ships in a dull yellow fog with the city of London rising from the very bank. Instead, hers was the only ship berthed, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. As she walked down a dirty wooden wharf, only a few houses and a couple of hotels were visible. But it did not take her long to warm to London. Australians studied British history and literature at school, and the city Mack had heard and read so much about was no longer an abstraction. She walked and walked around Bloomsbury, Tavistock and Russell Square, feeling that she was walking with the ghosts of poets and artists who had starved and suffered and written and died in the gigantic metropolis.26

When Moorehead arrived in 1936, he felt liberated at being in the first real crowds he had ever known:


I loved the march of faceless strangers in the street. To be known by no one, watched by no one, to join the ant-like anonymous procession – this was a new and exhilarating kind of privacy ... one was entirely free, one could go anywhere and do anything.27

James sent memorabilia to her family – a map of the underground to illustrate the vastness of the city, a postcard of buses at Piccadilly Circus, a leaf from Kew Gardens – and wrote capacious letters recounting her visits to London’s landmarks. She felt that she had a sort of privileged knowledge she was behoved to share with relatives and friends in Australia: ‘No one can realise the peculiar beauties of England until they have been here, & that is quite certain’.28 James’s close friend Dymphna Cusack, who had taken up a teaching position in outback Australia, addressed James as ‘Dear and envied Globe-Trotter’.29

Most journalists were armed with references and letters of introduction. Mack had a letter to a fiction editor who paid well for newspaper serials. An Australian magazine reported that she had ‘struck a payable lead with a prominent magazine a few days after sighting the white cliffs’ and was ‘beginning with the best prospects’. But now that she was in London, Mack was determined to shed her old life and write only what pleased her. She moved into an attic and began writing a novel, An Australian Girl in London, often going for days without seeing a soul. As the months passed, Mack struggled to pay her rent, went without heating and lost weight. As her time, energy and money waned, she did not waste precious money on stamps and simply stopped writing to her worried relatives.30

When Mack delivered her manuscript to the publisher of her first novel, she was virtually penniless. She made an appointment with the fiction editor of the Harmsworth Press, which she had heard paid well for serials. At the interview, the editor explained what he wanted: stories had to have a domestic interest, a love interest and an allusion to mystery; they must gain ‘the sympathy of the reader’; each instalment had to be left up in the air so that readers would keep buying the paper. Presented with an example of a popular plot, Mack was horrified that anyone could print such rubbish. However, she was desperate, so she went home and started to write. While struggling to master the formula, she learned that her novel was to be published in the spring of 1902. Meanwhile, she wrote a serial for a Harmsworth publication that proved popular with readers, and the editor commissioned more.31

An Australian Girl in London tells the story of a young woman who goes to England, has adventures among the English, marries an Englishman, but remains passionately devoted to Australia. For all its exclamatory style and girlish archness, the book was well received by critics and W.T. Stead engaged Mack to write for The Review of Reviews. He had started a new feature, a sort of endless serial based on well-known people and current events. Set in Australia, Mack’s chapters had bronzed Australians coping with fire and drought in the outback, garden parties at Government House for the visiting Japanese fleet, and so on. Royalties from the novel were not enough to keep her, so Mack concentrated on writing serials for Stead and other publishing houses. She had a vivid imagination and could write quickly so, after a hesitant beginning, she became a prolific freelancer. She made a great deal of money, which she spent on moving into a comfortable flat, buying new clothes and attending concerts and the theatre. Mack became a regular at Stead’s Friday ‘at homes’ at Mowbray House, where the magazine’s contributors mixed with writers, artists, socialites, politicians and visitors from abroad. She resumed writing letters to her family and Australian publications such as the Bulletin, filling them with descriptions of her gay social outings and her journalistic successes.32 She was no longer satisfied by the romantic ideal of starving for her art, and she was so caught up in the excitements and busyness of her new life that the literary aspirations she had carried with her to London simply faded away.

Unlike Mack, Keith Murdoch was intent on getting work on Fleet Street as soon as his ship berthed in May 1908. Geoffrey Syme of the Age had expressed his appreciation of the ‘soundness and general excellence’ of Murdoch’s work. Murdoch also had a brief, formal letter from Prime Minister Alfred Deakin commending him as ‘a worthy young reporter seeking experience abroad’.33 There were introductions to Presbyterian church leaders in London and Scotland and to the editors of church journals. The most important of these was to William Robertson Nicoll, a Scottish non-conformist and editor of the British Weekly. Murdoch lost no time making an appointment to see Nicoll in June 1908. Nicoll gave the young Australian letters of introduction to other papers and said that he wanted to learn how Murdoch got on. One of these papers, the Church Family Newspaper, paid Murdoch £2 10s for three days’ work covering the Pan-Anglican Congress. When Murdoch sent an article to Nicoll to peruse, he was advised to read the London papers carefully and write more succinctly. Murdoch was disappointed that Nicoll only intended to help him ‘indirectly’. Murdoch’s letters to his father were rather contradictory. In one, he referred to Nicoll’s ‘cold, stern slaughter of some hopes’; in another, Murdoch indicated that he had told Nicoll that he did not consider himself at present fit for a London appointment.34

Mack had been very conscious of an audience – journalistic and familial – back in Australia. She had conveyed tales of success to the ‘stay-at-homes’ waiting for the adventurer to fail, and concealed her hunger and despair.35 Murdoch, however, wrote deeply personal and agonisingly self-critical letters to his father while staying with an aunt and her husband, a doctor, in north London. The doctor put Murdoch in touch with speech experts and Murdoch decided to stay with his aunt for three months while undertaking speaking exercises.36

Murdoch claimed that Robert Donald, editor of the Daily Chronicle, informed him that ‘colonial experience was of little use’ on Fleet Street. Murdoch’s reports of how he was received by London editors varied according to his moods. In one letter to his father, he claimed that Donald had offered him sub-editorial work, but that he (Murdoch) had turned it down as he had no sub-editorial experience. Murdoch was encouraged, instead, to send in paragraphs to the Daily Chronicle.37

While it seems that Donald did have some time for Australians, they were, of course, competing with journalists from other parts of Britain. London broadsheets like The Times and the Daily Telegraph recruited a few graduates each year from Oxford and Cambridge. Most journalists from the British Isles – from Manchester and Yorkshire, Scotland and Ireland – served apprenticeships with provincial newspapers before chancing their luck on the national papers published from Fleet Street.38 In 1910 an Australian journalist, Reginald Carrington, hungrily accepted a sub-editorial position with the North Mail in Newcastle. The former Melbourne Argus journalist had spent four years calling on the senior staff of each office in Fleet Street and attempting to sell articles, interest editors in his suggestions on how to improve their newspapers, and write a novel. On one particularly grim day, he had left 10 articles at different newspaper offices, and all had been rejected. He had done other bits of work – drafting pamphlets for advertising agencies and filling in at a wire service – but by 1910 he was in debt. Returning to Australia, Carrington wrote ‘The Quest: A True Story of an Australian Journalist’s Five Years’ Search for Fame in Fleet Street’.39

Electing to remain in London, Murdoch placed a few articles with the British Weekly and the Daily Chronicle, but he still felt overwhelmed by both personal and professional challenges. He came to realise that there would be no quick improvement to his speech and decided to move between distant relatives in London. In August 1908 he wrote:


No doubt this city frightens the stranger who comes to teach it something. I think it is the determined will power of the city that shatters the knees of the stranger when he knocks against it. Tremendous strength of mind is needed to force one’s way along.40

By December he was spending one hour daily doing speaking exercises, and two hours writing paragraphs for newspapers. For eight or nine hours a day he would read and attend the London School of Economics, where he sat in on lectures in sociology, economics and logic. He felt inadequate – a ‘baby in thought and knowledge’ – because he had not been to university, and he became particularly interested in the theories of L.T. Hobhouse.41

There were occasional bursts of optimism as Murdoch studied voraciously and thought he detected a slight improvement in his speech. In late 1908 he told his father, ‘Real hard study here will be useful, and I’m going to become a moving force yet’; ‘Journalism certainly is precarious. But I’m young and strong and sh[oul]d not fear’.42 Mostly, however, he was worried – about his talents, about money, even about his Christian faith. In January 1909 he lamented, very simply, that the newspapers ‘don’t want my stuff’. But he was determined to stay and get at least six months’ good experience.43

There was a pervasive Australian view that success lay in first being acclaimed in Britain. Many Australian newspapers imported their editors from Britain; the broadsheet Sydney Morning Herald recruited few Australian editors until as late at the 1960s.44 As Simon Potter points out, the proprietors of large dominion newspapers could afford to send their sons back ‘Home’ for training. Lauchlan Mackinnon of the Melbourne Argus and David Syme of the Age both made sure that their sons had the chance to see the workings of top London and Scottish newspapers.45 In his letter to Murdoch in 1908, Geoffrey Syme had expressed the wish that the experience Murdoch gained on Fleet Street would be of great service to him and perhaps to the Age. Murdoch took this to be a half promise to re-employ him, and in February 1909 he asked his father to call on Syme and his wife. Patrick Murdoch was deputed to tell Syme that Keith was ‘studying hard with a view to doing useful press work’ and returning to the Age in late 1909 or 1910.46

In the meantime, Murdoch was ‘going to get rid of my stammer’ and ‘prepare myself for great work’. He visited Edinburgh for treatment from a Mrs Calwell at a cost of some £15. He was soon back in London, living in a dingy hostel for young Scotsmen and offering his services to newspaper offices.47 He seems to have had some success and his confidence was growing, as he joined the Colonial Institute and the Press Club and followed imperial politics. Telling his father that Britain was concerned about the growth of the German fleet, Murdoch suggested that Australia should contribute a Dreadnought in return for three or four second-class cruisers. He attended a Navy League meeting and debates in the House of Commons, and joined a committee for sending out slum boys to Australia.48

Murdoch’s spirits soared when he was interviewed about opening a new branch office for the Pall Mall Gazette at a salary of £104 a year, plus commission. But at the final interview with the editor in September, his speech ‘collapsed and we both realised I would not do’. Shattered, Murdoch wrote to his father, ‘London does not agree with me’. He was suffering from insomnia and indigestion, from a lack of good air and ‘good solid work’. He asked his father to cable him £100 and sailed for Melbourne, via the United States.49

Murdoch’s biographer C.E. Sayers entitled his chapter about Murdoch’s activities in 1908–09 ‘London Failure’; a later biographer, Desmond Zwar, headed his chapter ‘Defeat’.50 There can be no doubt that Murdoch had often despaired during his 18 months on Fleet Street. But while he had confided his anxieties and disappointments to his father, it is doubtful whether he did so to Syme, who took him back onto the Age. Murdoch had obtained at least some journalistic experience on Fleet Street, his interest in public affairs had deepened, and he had attained an understanding of how the worlds of journalism and politics operated in London.

With rigid self-discipline and constant exercising Murdoch brought his stammer under reasonable control. In 1911 he became a founding member of the Australian Journalists’ Association (AJA), evidence of Australian journalism’s improved professional status and organisation. By now he was reporting on federal parliament, which sat in Melbourne, for the Age. This position gave the complex young man the opportunity to mix with leading Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Andrew Fisher, a friend of his father. Having observed the way in which political and journalistic networks operated in London, he began using an aunt’s guesthouse to entertain Fisher and other government ministers. Murdoch was enticed to represent the Sydney Sun in Melbourne.51

In September 1914 he lost narrowly to C.E.W. Bean in the AJA’s ballot to appoint an official Australian war correspondent. However, a few months later Murdoch’s employer transferred him to London as managing editor of the United Cable Service, which serviced both the Sun and the Melbourne Herald. A sensational letter he wrote condemning the disastrous Allied landing at Gallipoli and celebrating the ‘magnificent manhood’ of Australian troops brought him to the attention of Lord Northcliffe. Murdoch made the most of his notoriety and began to hobnob with Cabinet ministers and act as an intermediary between Australian and British politicians. Meanwhile, Bean’s determination to document the experiences of ordinary Australian soldiers became a central component of the triumphalist Anzac tradition. The men from Australia and New Zealand who had been at Gallipoli became iconic figures, and Australia as a nation was seen to have stepped onto the world stage.52

The AJA’s monthly publication, the Australasian Journalist, was now routinely running paragraphs about the ‘exodus’ of Australians and New Zealanders to Fleet Street.53 Articles with headings such as ‘Fleet-Street Customs: Status of London Editors and Sub-editors’ and ‘The Inky Way in Britain: Ex-Maorilander’s Experience’ became staple fare. The Journalist published memoirs suggesting that the best way to survive in Fleet Street was by working for a news agency or churning out serials. It also recounted the difficulties faced by Australasian journalists, particularly when some London newspapers succumbed to the soaring price of newsprint during the war and ceased publication.54 But what the Journalist liked most was the Australian journalist who flourished on Fleet Street. In 1919 it reported that Murdoch had ‘obtained a good position in London journalistic circles’ and was ‘on terms of friendship with many of the Cabinet Ministers’. Murdoch’s rise to fame had been ‘meteoric’, he was always to be seen at The Times office, and bureaucrats never succeeded in preventing his access to important personages.55

Murdoch himself had not forgotten the struggles of his first term on Fleet Street. In an article for the Journalist in June 1920, on his way back to Australia to cover the tour of the Prince of Wales, he asserted that the Empire Press Union (EPU) should establish a formal exchange scheme for Australian journalists:


London being the world centre of journalism, and an important factor in Australian affairs, it is the aim of the ambitious Australian journalist to spend some time there ... Whilst this can be won only by taking on the hard struggle of free-lance work in London, it will remain a singularly difficult, hazardous undertaking.

His article also suggested that the fact that he had blossomed in London only by working for an Australian cable service rankled. Northcliffe supported the idea of an exchange during his visit to Australia in 1921, by which time Murdoch had returned to Melbourne to edit the Herald. Murdoch’s proposal was also discussed at various EPU conferences, but nothing came of it.56 Nevertheless, some ties between journalists in Australia and Britain were formalised. In 1921 the AJA and the National Union of Journalists agreed to accommodate members of either society going to work in the territory of the other.57

It was not until the bombing of Pearl Harbor that many Australian newspapers established offices in New York or Washington. This meant that Australian journalists often got their first chance to work overseas by joining their newspaper’s Fleet Street bureau. An article published in an EPU circular in 1913 noted that dominion newspapers which sent staff on rotation to London ensured that ‘constant intimacy is maintained with affairs in this country’.58 One such journalist was G.W. Warnecke, a returned serviceman who was asked to open the London office of Smith’s Weekly and its stablemate, the Sydney Daily Guardian, in 1923. Even though he was well paid, Warnecke was frustrated that he was unable to get interviews and stories in the ‘off-hand’ way he had in Sydney. He was surprised that he had to write and make appointments to interview politicians and business executives, and frustrated by his inability to access Cabinet ministers at all. Lacking Murdoch’s contacts, and not being a part of a network of public school graduates and exclusive clubs, he was unable to penetrate the coterie of journalists, editors and politicians in London. But despite the professional frustrations, he felt that, in a personal sense, ‘my eyes were opening, and my ears were listening’. He had been on the fringes of the labour movement in Sydney, and he began to haunt Bloomsbury, mixing with writers such as the poet Anna Wickham and the Australian novelist Christina Stead, and the prominent British communists William Gallacher and Shapurji Saklatvala. An ardent Irish nationalist, Warnecke became secretary of the London branch of the Irish Workers’ League and marched under its banner in the 1924 May Day procession. He met and married an Irish opera singer, Nora Hill, before returning to Australia later that year.59

If Warnecke was exasperated by the task of interviewing ‘tenth rate Australian visitors & foreign diplomats’,60 Florence James was struggling just to make a living from her pen. In May 1928, seven months after arriving in London, James wrote to her fiancé saying that she would not allow her parents to pay for her return home. She would not ‘leave this side of the world until I have earned the right to’:


You know that I want to make writing my life work, well Pym I’m going to be established in that work before I renounce the most favourable opportunity I shall ever have in my life for doing so ...

This letter leaves you entirely free of all obligation to me, and I take my freedom in my own hands. What the future holds I cannot say, but should our lives lie together it will be a new woman you must win and a new man who must woo her.61

James confided to her parents that Avril, the young scientist she had met on the voyage, was obviously in love with her and was about to move to London. However, she stressed that Avril was not the cause of her reservations about marrying Pym. James described herself and Pym before her departure as ‘babes in arms, blundering about!’ Explaining to her mother that she had had a ‘splendid education’ in London, she signed her letter ‘Your big daughter Florence’.62 When Pym implored her to return to Sydney and sent £50 for her return passage, she cabled the money back to his account.63

By July 1928 James had amicably parted from Avril when his South African fiancée arrived in Britain.64 After a spell working at a guesthouse in Edinburgh, James returned to London and ‘the writing game’ determined to be ‘a serious minded woman with no time for frivolities’. In October she declared to her mother: ‘Oh it’s good to be in London even if one can’t see & do all one would like; the crumbs are better than a feast elsewhere’. James’s attempts to write popular serials – which were amusing and entertaining but ‘not art’ – met with no success. In November she enrolled in a freelance course at the London School of Journalism. She found the course helpful and practical because she was not ‘a journalist by temperament or inclination’.65 She was oddly encouraged when a friend of a friend told her that she had had to bombard Fleet Street for two years before her work was accepted.66

James’s efforts to write a novel and saleable serials were interspersed with writing copy for an advertising agency. In early 1931, with accounts drying up and the agency shedding employees, she complained to her mother, ‘never has there been such depression’.67 Fortunately, however, she was put onto the contract staff of a Fleet Street news agency. The agency decided on the topics of stories and sold the serial rights, while she conducted interviews and wrote the stories. James earned a good commission and was content to leave the business side of things to other people. Although she had lived in Sydney, she was deputed to write articles about the Northern Territory and on kangaroo hunting with Aborigines, posing as an experienced hunter.68 James left the agency to ghost books for a Mr Siggins, who had lived in Africa for several years, but after some months he went broke.69

She had at least cleared her debts, and an interview with Dr Maria Montessori produced a profitable sideline. Happy with the first story, the Italian educationalist arranged for James to rewrite her articles and lectures for English consumption. This arrangement brought James to the attention of senior staff at the Daily Express and the Evening Standard, and proved that she was capable of writing features as well as serials.70 She was pleased that she had managed to learn the ‘craft side’ of her work at other peoples’ expense by freelancing, working in advertising and writing for Mr Siggins. She joined the Quill Club, persisted with work on her novel and remained determined to ‘make a name for myself among modern writers’.71

James had continued to correspond with Pym Heyting, who moved to London and joined a legal practice. On their marriage in 1932, James told her family in Australia: ‘Pym will never change very much, he is such a serious, sober old darling, but he has come out of his shell a lot since the old days’.72 In 1928 James, fearful of being a young wife trapped by domesticity, had informed her parents that Pym had a fine brain and the will to succeed, ‘but I’m going to do well too, & not just as Pym’s wife, but as me’.73 Heyting supported James’ decision to keep on working after their marriage as they were saving for a home – something James yearned for because she had been moving from flat to flat since leaving Australia.

Heyting was concerned about the mental strain and loneliness of writing,74 and his wife attempted to give her life structure by keeping a diary. She set financial and literary goals, recorded each effort to write and sell a story, and berated herself for getting out of bed late and eating sweets. James believed that she had to struggle with her weakness of character and could only ‘write greatly if I am fighting to live honestly and sincerely’. She sold stories to the Daily Dispatch, the Manchester Evening News and the Yorkshire Post, and by 1934 was again concentrating on her novel. She also worked as a literary agent and tried to place the manuscripts of Australian novelists such as her friend Dymphna Cusack.75 In 1935, the year James gave birth to her first child, she encouraged Cusack to come to London. Now a full-time mother and writer, James said of her early years in London:


I had my Fleet Street experience in the depths of the depression when scraping a living was almost a 24 hours a day job ... one cant [sic] come to London on the off chance that one will be able to earn enough by free lance journalism to keep one.76

As Alomes notes, the onset of the Great Depression made the journey from Australia to London less common until after the war.77 By the early 1930s neither James nor her father was able to afford the cost of her return passage to Australia. But still the dream of many journalists was to work on Fleet Street. When the Australian trade journal Newspaper News was launched in 1928 it included a regular column, ‘Notes from Fleet Street’, and during the Depression some journalists managed to scrape together the fare to go to England.

In 1930 Moore Raymond left Brisbane to try his luck on Fleet Street. He secured a job on the Daily Express and became an established theatre and film critic. But Raymond’s brother-in-law, Russell Hill, found the labour market no healthier than in Australia. After placing only a few paragraphs, he put his lifesaving skills to use and became a swimming instructor in London. When Raymond’s father died in 1934, his widow decided that she and her youngest son, 12-year-old Robert, should make an extended visit to London and meet up with the family.78

A number of journalists from Australia and New Zealand secured work on the Daily Express, the Sunday Express and the Evening Standard. This was largely due to one of the newspaper group’s executives, Frederick Doidge, whose career illustrates the complexity of the imperial journalistic experience. The Australian-born son of the proprietor of the Cootamundra Liberal, Doidge began his journalistic career in New Zealand and became founding president of the New Zealand Journalists’ Association. Before his discharge from the New Zealand infantry in 1918, he was seconded to the British Ministry of Information under Lord Beaverbrook. Doidge went on to become an executive with the Express Newspapers group and play a key role in Beaverbrook’s 1931 Empire Free Trade Crusade.79 Doidge recruited an Australian, C.L. Hains, as circulation manager of the Daily Express and enticed the New Zealand-born cartoonist David Low to the staff of the Evening Standard.80

In 1935 Noel Monks, who had begun his career on the Hobart Mercury before joining the Melbourne Sun News-Pictorial, worked his passage to London. On his arrival in May, the burly 27-year-old dropped by the Daily Express in case it was ‘short of a genius’. After two days of trying to get past the front hall, he discovered the password – ‘Empire Trade’. When he mentioned that he knew Henry Gullett, leader of the Australian trade mission that had just arrived in London, Monks was told he could start work the following day. The fact that Doidge was about to return to New Zealand meant that Monks had arrived at the Daily Express at just the right time.81

Monks and Alan Moorehead were part of a network of Australasian journalists on Fleet Street who were holding weekly luncheons by 1920. The London Association of Empire Newspapers Overseas and the Overseas Committee of the Institute of Journalists served an industrial as well as a social purpose.82 Male journalists congregated at the Surrey, the pub opposite Australia House in the Strand, and the famous old journalists’ pub, the King Lud. Many Australian journalists, such as Florence James and Moore Raymond, had rooms in Chelsea, an artistic quarter that became very fashionable in the 1960s. They read and wrote at the Chelsea Public Library (which had, as a bonus, central heating) and joined the Chelsea Arts Club, the Press Club and the Savage Club.83

Australian journalists took to drinking coffee rather than tea, and wine rather than beer with their meals. They visited continental restaurants with menus featuring exotic items such as Vienna schnitzel and Hungarian goulash. Moorehead had an affair with a woman called Katharine who was engaged to an older man. He would later write that Katharine had been engaged in ‘Pygmalionism’:


What fun to educate him, to be herself a teacher, just for a while, to take him to the theatres, the galleries and the restaurants ... Little by little under her guidance I was beginning to change my spots and take on the camouflage and the colours of Europe.

Robert Raymond, who followed his older brother into London journalism in 1940, became involved with a German Jew who had been smuggled out of Germany. Through his girlfriend, the Anglo-Celtic Raymond began mixing with central Europeans for the first time in his life.84

War was an Australian and journalistic theme, the key to seeing the world.85 The First World War had brought several Australian journalists closer to the centre of imperial affairs. It had advanced the careers of Murdoch, Doidge and, of course, C.E.W. Bean, who became official historian of Australia’s part in the war and founder of the Australian War Memorial. Australian journalists spotted new opportunities in the 1930s. Throughout the summer of 1935 all Monks could think about was his ‘first war’. As a colleague was despatched to Abyssinia for the Daily Express, Monks resigned from the newspaper and sailed for North Africa on the understanding that his work also would be used if possible. Much of Monk’s copy was used, and he was welcomed back to his old desk at the Daily Express after a brief, unhappy spell on the Melbourne Herald.86 By 1936 Monk’s friend Alan Moorehead was looking for a way to escape his affair with Katharine, now a married woman. Monks knew that the Daily Express needed a correspondent in Gibraltar and told the foreign editor that he had a friend who by luck was just about to leave for Gibraltar. And so Moorehead, by volunteering to pay his own fare, went off to Spain to cover the civil war.87 The Spanish Civil War and the theatres of the Second World War were covered comprehensively and with distinction by a generation of Australian journalists including Monks, Moorehead, Ronald Monson, Chester Wilmot, Godfrey Blunden and Osmar White.88

Australian journalists went to Fleet Street with a variety of ambitions: to prove their journalistic credentials and further their careers when they returned to Australia; to explore new opportunities writing fiction; to travel further in Europe and to military fronts; and to escape the expectations of parental eyes and marriage. Mostly, however, they sought to be educated, whether formally – by well-known journalists and editors, attending the London School of Journalism or the London School of Economics, and visiting galleries, museums and libraries – or informally, by mixing with continental Europeans and acquiring sophisticated lovers. The idea of furthering – or perhaps even beginning – one’s education was a recurring motif in the public writings and the private correspondence of Australian journalists who, in Reginald Carrington’s words, quested for fame on Fleet Street. The title of Moorehead’s autobiography, A Late Education, referred not to his university studies, but to his travels and to his affair with the worldly Katharine.

Few Australian journalists found working on Fleet Street easy. Carrington, Mack, Murdoch and James had their work repeatedly rejected and lived, for a time at least, in poverty. Monks, who secured a post on the Daily Express within days of his arrival, was a lucky exception. The experiences of James and Frederick Doidge serve to remind us of the complexity and the circularity of the imperial experience. There was not a simple linear, one-way traffic between Australia and London. Journalists moved between the provinces and the metropolises of Australia and the British Isles, and between New Zealand, Australia and Britain, taking advantage of the mobility facilitated by their profession and the opportunities offered by war.

As the lives of the individuals addressed in this chapter show, some Australian journalists made their home in Britain, others returned to Australia or divided their time between different countries. Murdoch established a career at the helm of Australia’s first publishing chain, becoming managing director and chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd and playing a leading organisational role in the Australian media industry and Melbourne art circles. ‘Lord Southcliffe’, as he was known, was knighted in 1933 and served as Director-General of Information in 1940.89 Mack became editor of the Italian Gazette in 1904 before managing to get to Belgium in 1914 as an early woman war correspondent, reporting for the London Evening News and Daily Mail. She continued to write novels and toured the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia with travel talks and films for schools until her death in Sydney in 1935.90 James returned to Sydney in 1938, contributing to the women’s supplements of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph and writing popular novels including Come in Spinner. With her two daughters she went to London again in 1947, divorced Pym Heyting and worked as a literary agent before returning to live permanently in Australia in 1963.91 Monks remained in Britain, working as foreign and war correspondent for the London Daily Express and then the Daily Mail; on his death in 1960 the Sunday Dispatch described him as ‘one of the greatest reporters of our day’.92 Moorehead’s frank wartime despatches for the Daily Express, backed by three books and a biography of Field Marshal Montgomery, won him great fame. After the Second World War he lived in Italy and Britain and wrote many acclaimed works of military history, science and biography, visiting Australia several times for research.93 Robert Raymond remained in London during the Second World War, reporting for the Daily Sketch and the Sydney Daily Mirror, before making films in Africa and returning to Australia. In 1961 he co-founded the seminal television current affairs program Four Corners and in the 1980s served on the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.94

A sense of nostalgia has accompanied Fleet Street for at least a century; while each journalist or editor would recount his or her one great exclusive,95 many would look back to the ‘golden age’ of journalism before the crassness of Northcliffe. Then, in 1988, a ‘Farewell to Fleet Street’ exhibition was held at the Museum of London. The diaspora from ‘The Street’, the dream of generations of journalists from Australia and other English-speaking countries, was born in 1986 with the removal of four national newspaper titles to Wapping.96 Ironically, the exodus was led by an Australian – Sir Keith Murdoch’s son, Rupert.


This chapter by Bridget Griffen-Foley was originally published as ‘“The crumbs are better than a feast elsewhere”: Australian journalists on Fleet Street’. Journalism History 28 (1) (Spring 2002): 26–37. It is reproduced here with permission. Journalism History is published by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens Ohio, USA.


1     In c.1971 the satirical magazine Private Eye labelled Murdoch the ‘Dirty Digger’ for his ‘vandalising’ of the British press. See Shawcross, 1993, 144, 156.

2     Alomes, 1999, xii.

3     See Walker, 1976, 204–5; Lloyd, c.1986, chs 1–2.

4     Alomes, 1999, 185.

5     Morrison, 1997, 74, 178, points out that a high proportion of the most influential metropolitan journalists of the 1880s and thereafter were previously contributors to, or editors of, country newspapers.

6     Griffen-Foley, 2000a, 12–13; Griffen-Foley, 2000b, 273.

7     Alomes, 1999, 40; Hamilton, 1999, 102.

8     Alomes, 1999, 39.

9     Pesman, 1996, 2–3; Alomes, 1999, 2, 6, 8.

10    Morrison, 1998, 468; Alomes, 1999, 39.

11    For the links between journalism and bohemia in Australia, see Kirkpatrick, 1992, 3ff.

12    Stewart, 1988, 179.

13    Alomes 1999, 40; Raymond 1992, 188.

14    Bell, 1912, v; Boston, 1990, 14–16; Jenkins, 1986, 10.

15    Boston, 1990, 41, 42, 90–94.

16    See Wiener, 1988.

17    Moorehead, 1970, 39, 46; Monks, 1955.

18    Phelan, 1991, 99–102.

19    Anon., 1991, 42–44; North, 2001, 3, 9.

20    Phelan, 1991, 101–102, 106; James to family, 17 August 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

21    James to ‘dear little chap’, 17 September 1927; James to family, 14 October 1927, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

22    Phelan, 1991, 107.

23    Serle, 1986, 622–627.

24    C.E. Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch, Newspaper Reporter’, 37, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 9, Series 11, MS 2823. Murdoch’s letters to his father were given to Sayers when he was researching his unpublished biography of Murdoch.

25    Phelan, 1991, 108–9. Also see Pesman, 1996, 156, 162–163.

26    Phelan, 1991, 110, 114–116.

27    Moorehead, 1970, 46, 47.

28    James to ‘dearest little chap’, 4 November 1927, James to mother, 22 May 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

29    North, 2001, 11.

30    Phelan, 1991, 114–117.

31    Phelan, 1991, 118–124.

32    Phelan, 1991, 124–130.

33    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 33. See also Zwar, 1980, 8.

34    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 37. Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 3 July 1908, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 5, Series 11, MS 2823.

35    Phelan, 1991, 114.

36    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 40.

37    Ibid., 43–44.

38    Raymond, 1992, 117, 178, Milne, 1931, 1; Falk, 1933, 52–56, 61.

39    R.N. Carrington, ‘The Quest: A True Story of an Australian Journalist’s Five Years’ Search for Fame in Fleet Street’, MS, c.1910, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

40    Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 3 July and 6 August 1908, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 5, Series 11, MS 2823.

41    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 45–46, 49.

42    Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 6 August and December 1908, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 5, Series 11, MS 2823.

43    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 46.

44    Alomes, 1999, 40, 53; Souter, 1981, 377.

45    Potter, 2000, 54.

46    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 33, 62.

47    Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 10 May 1909, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 5, Series 11, MS 2823. Also see Zwar, 1980, 13.

48    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, pp. 60–62. See also Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 10 May, 17 June and 14 October 1909, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia, Folder 5, Series 11, MS 2823.

49    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’, 54–55. Also see Zwar, 1980, 16.

50    Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch’; Zwar, 1980.

51    Zwar, 1980, 16–17.

52    For Murdoch, see Serle, 1986, 10, 623. For a more general discussion of the Anzac tradition, see Carlyon, 2001.

53    Australasian Journalist was also known as Australian Journalist or simply the Journalist.

54    For example, Australasian Journalist, 25 June 1914, 26; 25 August 1914, 9; 25 November 1914, 11; 25 September 1915, 21; 15 September 1920, 216.

55    Australasian Journalist, 15 April 1919, 58; 23 June 1920, 126.

56    Australasian Journalist, 23 June 1920, 124; 15 November 1920, 251; 15 October 1921, 220, 235; 15 April 1922, 75.

57    Bundock, 1957, 87. See also Australasian Journalist, 31 March 1920, 66.

58    Cited in Potter, 2000, 55.

59    Warnecke to Voltaire Molesworth, 30 October 1923 and 9 January 1924, Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Folder 4, Box 3, MS Set 71. See also Warnecke’s unpublished memoirs, copy in possession of the author.

60    Warnecke to Voltaire Molesworth, 9 January 1924, Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Folder 4, Box 3, MS Set 71.

61    James to Pym Heyting, 16 May 1928, Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Folder 4, Box 3, MS Set 71.

62    James to parents, 17 May 1928, James to mother, 18 June 1928, Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, James Papers, MS 5877.

63    James to mother, 2 July 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

64    James to mother, 2 July, 6 August 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

65    James to family, 22 July 1928, James to father, 3 October 1928, James to mother, 11 October, 27 November 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

66    James to father, 16 May 1929, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

67    James to mother, 28 October 1930, 22 January 1931, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

68    James to father, 11 February 1931, James to mother, 17 February, 4 March 1931, James to sister, n.d. (mid-January 1932), James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

69    James to family, 5 and 12 November 1931, James to father, 26 May 1932, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

70    James to mother, 21 October, 10 December 1931, James to family, 19 October 1932, James to Christina Stead, 5 October, 23 and 29 November 1933, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

71    James to father, 26 May 1932, James to mother, 8 June 1932, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

72    James to family, 25 August 1932, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

73    James to mother, 18 June 1928, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 9, MS 5877.

74    Pym Heyting to James’s parents, 13 November 1932, Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 10, James Papers, MS 5877.

75    See James’s diaries, 1933–34, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 1, MS 5877.

76    James to Dymphna Cusack, 20 November 1935, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 13, MS 5877.

77    Alomes, 1999,12.

78    Raymond, 1992, 99, 104–6, 117, 118, 178.

79    Waterson, 2000, 5, 148.

80    Newspaper News, 1 February 1929, 11; 1 February 1938, 15.

81    Monks, 1955, 26–7; Australasian Journalist, July 1960, 4. Also see Waterson, 2000, 5,148–149.

82    Australasian Journalist, 30 April 1920, 75. Also see Newspaper News, 1 January 1938, 9; 1 September 1938, 6.

83    Alomes, 1999, 49; Raymond, 1992,177, 212. Also see James to Cusack, 20 November 1935, James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Box 13, MS 5877.

84    Raymond, 1992, 203, 216–218, 264–265; Moorehead, 1970, 58–61.

85    Alomes, 1999, 195.

86    Monks, 1955, 28–59.

87    Moorehead, 1970, 63–64.

88    See Torney-Parlicki, 2001, 671.

89    Zwar, 1980.

90    Phelan, 1991.

91    North, 2001.

92    Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June 1960.

93    Torney-Parlicki, 2001, 671; Serle, 2001, 438.

94    Raymond, 1992 and Raymond, 1999.

95    Raymond, 1992, 185.

96    Boston, 1990, 92, 116, 132.


Australasian Journalist, 1914–1922, 1960.

Carrington, R.N. ‘The Quest: A True Story of an Australian Journalist’s Five Years’ Search for Fame in Fleet Street’, MS, c.1910, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

James Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Molesworth Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Newspaper News, 1929, 1938.

C.E. Sayers, ‘A life of Keith Murdoch, newspaper reporter’, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia.

Keith to Patrick Murdoch, 3 July, 6 August and December 1908, 10 May, 17 June and 14 October 1909, Murdoch Papers, National Library of Australia.

Sydney Morning Herald, 1960.

Warnecke, George unpublished memoirs. Copy in possession of the author.


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Cite this chapter as: Griffen-Foley, Bridget. 2009. ‘“The crumbs are better than a feast elsewhere”: Australian journalists on Fleet Street’. Australians in Britain: The Twentieth-Century Experience, edited by Bridge, Carl; Crawford, Robert; Dunstan, David. Melbourne: Monash University ePress. pp. 8.1 to 8.19.


Australians in Britain: The Twentieth-Century Experience

   by Carl Bridge