Books

The Life and Times of Scamp WhiteThe Life & Times of R.S. (Scamp) White, (103 pages) by E. DeLacy (2014).

Cost: PDF format $10 Aust. PDF will be emailed within 48 hours of received payment.

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Hard copy, A4 (Coloured cover, B&W), $25 including postage in Australia.

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The real story of Robert Stanley (Scamp) White in the public domain is not a larrikin story.  It is a story of race fixing and intimidation; “business” dealings that would do a psychopath proud and widespread corruption that made Scamp White a central figure in a Royal Commission five years after his death. Did I mention tax evasion, arson, three or four marriages (I have proof of desertion in two divorces), and only two dead bodies on his properties that were newsworthy? Or that his brother earned a Military Medal, O.B.E., C.B.E. and was finally knighted as Knight Bachelor of the British Empire? The mind boggles.

R.S.White 1889-1951 owned Eskdale Station in the Somerset region of Queensland from 1931 to 1951 and it is not a statement that would make any regional community proud. His widow owned the property until her death in 1979 and she earned the district’s respect. There were no children of this marriage.

As far as I can tell, Scamp White had only two saving graces: his horses trusted him and he was born and bred in New South Wales!

I would like to thank Kev McKee for introducing me to the larrikin stories of Scamp White in Queensland and to Jim Ryan for his book “The Scamp”.  The memory of these old cattle men is a treasure beyond price.  I can’t compete with the larrikin stories but I can read and a few research skills and the internet verified all the old stories (my apologies, Kev, I often thought you were just having a go) and provided an Aladdin’s Cave from which new stories can now be drawn.

To the larrikins – do your worst; to the racing men –read Poitrel’s obituary; to the cattle dealers – look and learn (and now I am kidding!)  And to my other readers: this is the true story of a man with little formal education, considerable political influence and a callous disregard for the feelings of others who amassed great wealth in his lifetime and shaped a culture of corruption in Queensland. 

Elizabeth DeLacy edelacy@westnet.com.au