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Obituaries Australia

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Lang, W. H. (1859–1923)

by A.W.P.

W. H. Lang, n.d.

W. H. Lang, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 December 1923

It was a terrible blow to hear on my arrival in Melbourne last week that my dearest of old friends, Dr. W. H. Lang, had passed away that morning, 10th December, at Wangaratta, after being taken suddenly ill a few days before. He had been feeling so much better after a long illness that his friends had great hopes that he would have many years with us yet. But it was not to be. For 27 years, without a break, he has contributed, under the name of "Fife and Drum,'' a regular monthly summary of horse racing, and also frequently on coursing and big cricket matches to the Pastoral Review. Other matters might be laid aside, but he was always up to the scratch in his Review contributions. His delightful writings have given pleasure to thousands of our readers all over the globe, and it was quite a common thing for him to receive inquiries on various subjects from people in South Africa, South America, and other parts of the world, whether they were racehorse followers or otherwise. His series of articles which have appeared in our columns constitute a classic.

Dr. Lang was born at Selkirk, in Scotland, in 1859, and came to Australia when about 34 years of age. He was the son of Mr. John Lang, of Selkirk; one of his brothers was the famous Andrew Lang, essayist, poet, litterateur, and anthropologist, who died in 1912. He settled at Corowa, on the New South Wales-Victoria border, and there built up a big practice, and as always, made himself beloved by everyone whom he came in contact with. He was ever a great lover of horses and student of thoroughbred breeding. Soon after he arrived at Corowa he formed the Brocklesby stud, and bred many good horses, but in 1903 he relinquished the hobby and gave up all his time to his practice. Upon being appointed handicapper to the Victoria Amateur Racing Club he sold his practice and came to Melbourne, where he has lived ever since. In 1916 he was appointed to the V.R.C. Only two years ago he suffered a terrible loss in the sudden death of his dear wife, who was a real mate to him in all things, and this seemed to break him up; he never really recovered from the effects. He leaves a daughter, Nancy, and two sons, the elder being the well-known Capt. A. Lang, air force officer, who did good war work in France, and the younger, Tom, being an officer in the Merchant Marine Service. His is indeed a great loss, not only to his relatives and near friends, but to thousands of those who have regularly looked for and read his articles. One of the whitest and most lovable men who ever lived. He was buried near his old home at Corowa.

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Citation details

A.W.P., 'Lang, W. H. (1859–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 12 August 2020.

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