Sir Frank Fox
Sir Frank Fox by Norman Lindsay
|Died||4 March 1960 (aged 85)|
|Alma mater||Christ's College, Tasmania|
|Occupation||Journalist, soldier, author and campaigner|
|The Lone Hand|
|Parent(s)||Charles James Fox |
Sir Frank James Fox (1874–1960) was an Australian-born journalist, soldier, author and campaigner, who lived in Britain from 1909.
Early life and education
Fox was born in 1874 in Adelaide, second son of Charles James Fox, journalist, and his wife Mary Ann, née Toole. He moved to Hobart in 1883, when his father became editor of the Tasmanian Mail, and was educated at Christ's College, Hobart. At an early age he wrote paragraphs for his father's paper.
Fox joined the staff of the Sydney Bulletin in 1901 and was Acting Editor for a time. As 'Frank Renar', he published his first book Bushman and Buccaneer, a memoir of Harry Morant which became the seminal work for subsequent books, plays and the acclaimed film Breaker Morant.
While still working for the Bulletin, Fox was appointed in 1907-09 first editor and manager of the magazine Lone Hand, a monthly publication of literature and poetry. Fox published a volume of political essays, From the Old Dog (Melbourne), in 1908. He was a keen horseman; riding out regularly with his literary colleagues Andrew Banjo Paterson and Norman Lindsay. In spite of the latter describing him as an equine exhibitionist, Lindsay most unusually paint an equestrian portrait of Fox.
Lindsay wrote Bohemians of the Bulletin, which is illustrated with his doodles.
Fox was appointed as an assistant editor for the Morning Post in December 1909 and later in 1910, he was promoted as the news editor. He published Ramparts of Empire (1910) about the navy, Australia (1910), The British Empire (1911), Problems of the Pacific (1912) and many travel books.
Motivated by the atrocities he witnessed to the civilian population in Belgium whilst war correspondent for the Morning Post he was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery on 13 December 1914, over age at 41, and served in France. He was twice wounded in the Battle of the Somme. In 1917-18 he was at the War Office working for Mi7, publishing "The Battle of the Ridges" and "The British Army at War" designed to educate the American Public about the British war effort. He then served as Staff Captain at the Quartermaster General's branch, General Headquarters, in France, and wrote a contemporary account of Life there ("GHQ" Montreuil-sur-Mer).
- Editor: The Australian Workman. Aged 18
- Editor: National Advocate. Aged 21
- Acting Editor: Sydney Bulletin
- Founder: The Lone Hand (magazine)
- Morning Post
- News Editor 1910
- War Correspondent – 1912 Bulgarian Army in Balkan War.
- War Correspondent – Belgian Army. Aug – Dec 1914. German Invasion. Reporting to Brussels re atrocities to civilian population (Order of the Crown of Belgium – in the gift of King Albert.)
- Commissioned Australian Field Artillery 1905
- Commissioned RFA 1914/19 - Wounded twice at Somme 1916.
- War Office (1917).
- GHQ – Montreuil-sur-Mer. Staff Officer in QMG Division; then War Office as Major, (OBE Military; Mentioned in Dispatches) (1916-1919).
Australian military historian Craig Wilcox, author of the book Australia’s Boer War, Oxford University Press 2002 wrote:
Fox was a great man, and concerning Morant I think of him not only as the launcher of an Australian legend but also its subtlest and most intelligent storyteller; he confounds Morant’s champions as well as Morant’s detractors, as good literature and insider history ought to do. His little book ( Bushman and Buccaneer- A Memoir of Harry Morant) is often cited, sometimes plundered, but too rarely read.
- Championed Australian Federation (as Editor of National Advocate)
- Warned of Danger of War in Europe (1909-1914) and urged preparation – in Print and Public Platform
- MI7 (1917) to encourage US participation in WWI.
- As an Imperialist and a champion of Empire causes, organised:
Family and personal life
He married Helena Clint (d. 1958) on 13 June 1894; they had a son and two daughters. Helena Clint was granddaughter of Alfred Clint, President of the Society of British Artists, great-granddaughter of George Clint ARA, and great-niece of Scipio Clint.
- 1902 - Bushman and Buccaneer: a memoir of Harry Morant, Frank Renar, HT Dunn, Australia
- 1908 - From the Old Dog, Lothian, Melbourne, Australia
- 1909 - The Australian Crisis; written under the pseudonym of CH Kirmess.
- 1910 - Australia (Illustrations by Percy Spence) Black
- 1910 - Ramparts of Empire; a view of the Navy from an Imperial Standpoint, Black
- 1911 - Australia; Peeps at many lands, Black via gutenberg.org
- 1911 - The British Empire: peeps at many lands, (new 1915; 2nd 1929)
- 1911 - Oceania; Peeps at many lands, Black, new edition 1915
- 1912 - Problems of the Pacific, Williams and Norgate via gutenberg.org
- 1912 - The Tyranny of Trade Unions, Eveleigh Nash
- 1913 - Naturalist in Cannibal Land, AS Meek (Ed. F Fox) Fisher, Unwin
- 1913 - Our English Land Muddle; an Australian view, Nelson
- 1915 - The Balkan Peninsular, Black via gutenberg.org
- 1915 - The Agony of Belgium: (being Phase 1 of the Great War), Hutchinson (republished in 2014 by Charles Goodson-Wickes, Great Grandson and Literary Executor of Sir Frank Fox.) Reviewed July 2016 in The Guards Magazine.
- 1915 - Bulgaria, Black via gutenberg.org
- 1914 - England, Black via gutenberg.org
- 1915 - Italy, Black
- 1914 - Switzerland, Black via gutenberg.org
- 1918 - The Battle of the Ridges; Arras, Messiness (March–June 1917) Pearson
- 1918 - The British Army at War, Unwin
- 1920 - "GHQ" (Montreuil-sur-mer), "GSO" P Allan. (French edition republished in 2015. English Edition in 2016 by Charles Goodson-Wickes, Great Grandson and Literary Executor of Sir Frank Fox.) Reviewed in The Times on 16/7/16 as one of the six best War Reads. Reviewed July 2016 in The Guards Magazine Reviewed in The [[RUSI Journal]] December 2016 Vol. 161 No. 6 pp.58.63]
- 1922 - The King’s Pilgrimage, Hodder & Stoughton (Sir Frank Fox accompanying George V and Field Marshal Earl Haig to opening of Belgian & French Military Cemeteries 1922.) – to be republished 2017
- 1923 - The History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry 1898 - 1922 (The Great Cavalry Campaign in Palestine), P Allan
- 1923 - Beneath an Ardent Sun, Hodder & Stoughton
- 1923 - The English 1909-1922; a gossip, Murray
- 1924 - The British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, Official Guide, in collaboration with Grant Cook
- 1926 - Finland Today, Black; new edition 1928
- 1927 - Italy Today, H Jenkins
- 1928 - The Mastery of the Pacific: can the British Empire and the United States agree? Seams, NY 1928
- 1928 - The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the World War, Constable
- 1930 - Parliamentary Government - a failure, S Paul
- 1937 - The Royal House of Windsor 1837-1937 (edited), Royal Warrant Holders Association
- 1951 - The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the Second World War, 1939–45
- Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 14 February 2017
- "The Times Obituary". Official website. 9 March 1960. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "The Argues, Melbourne". National Library of Australia. 9 April 1935. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Lindsay, Norman Alfred (1879–1969)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Sir Frank Fox". Official website. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Patty, Anna. "The Bohemians at the Bulletin: the illustrations that helped shape Australia's identity on display". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "The Times". Official website. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Fox, Sir Frank Ignatius (1874–1960)". Fox, Sir Frank Ignatius (1874–1960) biography by Martha Rutledge. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "FRANK FOX. - Australian Author and Journalist. - The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) - 2 Apr 1935". West Australian (Perth, Wa : 1879 - 1954). National Library of Australia. 2 April 1935. p. 18. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Forces War Records July 2016". www.forces-war-records.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Spence, Percy Frederick Seaton (1868–1933)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
- "The Guards Magazine". The Guards Magazine. July 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "The Times". The Times. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- Spence, Jack (December 2016). "The Somme, A Contest of Endurance". The RUSI Journal. 161 (6): 58. doi:10.1080/03071847.2016.1265838.