Born at Beaufort, Victoria, to Irish parents, he had a love of the bush. He was well educated, but shortly after leaving school, went with some friends on a "swagman's" tour of Echuca.
Trained in the legal profession, he worked in the library for the Supreme Court. He later worked for the Victorian Government, drafting legislation. Being a public servant he was not entitled to publicity so wrote under the name of D Fenton. In 1934 he refused a knighthood for services to literature.
He wrote little poetry after 1920.
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