#OnThisDay 2 September 1922 the poet and writer Henry Lawson died in Sydney. He was the first person in NSW to be granted a State funeral as a 'distinguished citizen' rather than a politician. Although much of his writing was acclaimed, Lawson suffered from a lack of funds, depression and alcoholism.
He spent time in Darlinghurst Gaol between 1905 and 1909 for drunkenness and non-payment of alimony.
A visit to his old school
In April 1914, Henry Lawson paid a return visit to Eurunderee public school, almost 40 years after he had attended as a young pupil.
T D Mutch, in ‘Lawson, the Man and his Country’ gives an account of his visit to Eurunderee with Lawson in April 1914, where they stayed at the home of the then schoolmaster James Elliott. Mutch records that
“Elliott…got out with loving care the old enrolment book. With what eagerness did Lawson run his fingers down the list of names to find his own among them…”
In addition to checking his entry in the Admission register, Lawson wrote some comments in the Visitors’ book, along with a poem which laments the absence of his name among students recorded in the Punishment book.
Images source: NRS 3931 School records – Eurunderee Public School Visitors book – entry for visit of Henry Lawson 20 April 1914, including poem composed during visit [4/7550] and School records, Eurunderee Public School Admission Register showing entry for Henry Lawson [4/7551]