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Walch, Garnet (1843–1913)

The announcement of the death of Mr. Garnet Walch, who, as an Australian dramatist and author, made a name for himself a generation ago, will be received with regret by his many friends. He died yesterday at his home in Mont Albert, aged 70 years.

Mr Walch was a native of Tasmania, and was the son of an Imperial officer, Major Walch, of the 54th Regiment, who had settled in Hobart, and purchased a book-selling and publishing business, which is still carried on by members of the family.

He was educated in England, having been sent there to the care of a relative on the death of his father. Returning to Tasmania he, at the age of 17 year, began work, first as a junior clerk in a merchant's office, and then as an articled clerk to a solicitor. However, he soon drifted to journalism, and in 1865 he joined the staff of Sydney Punch. In 1867 he established a paper at Parramatta, which he conducted for several years, and here he published his first independent literary venture - a collection of Christmas stories, entitled The Fireflash. His first introduction to stage work was through Mr. George Darrell, through whose recommendation he was engaged to write an extravaganza. From this time Mr. Walch gained great prominence as a dramatic author, and farces, burlesques, extravaganzas, comedies, and Christmas annuals came rapidly from his pen, 40 in all being performed and published in the period between 1872 and 1883.

Towards the close of 1883 he was engaged by the proprietors of The Argus to proceed as special correspondent to Madagascar, and contributed in that capacity a long series of articles, which met with general appreciation. Afterwards he produced a variety of tales, sketches, and dramatic works, among these being his dramatisation   (in collaboration with the late Mr. Alfred Dampier) of Rolf Boldrewood's highly successful novel Robbery Under Arms. For many years Mr. Walch had been living in retirement. 

The funeral will take place to-day, leaving "Rubra," Mont Albert, for the Box Hill Cemetery, at 3 p. m.

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'Walch, Garnet (1843–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/walch-garnet-1095/text1090, accessed 25 November 2017.

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