A.B. (‘Banjo’) Paterson (1864–1941), Australian poet, solicitor, journalist, war correspondent and soldier, grew up in the bush, where he encountered the drovers, teamsters and bush rangers, and experienced the incidents and scenes which became the subjects of his writing. Paterson wrote verses for the Bulletin under the pen name ‘The Banjo’. Here he formed friendships with Harry ‘The Breaker’ Morant and Henry Lawson. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, including ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’. He became a literary celebrity in 1895 with his poem ‘The man from Snowy River’. His life was one of adventure: he went crocodile hunting and buffalo shooting in the Northern Territory, dived for pearls at Broome, and was a war correspondent during the Boer War. During the First World War he sought work as a war correspondent, but failed to gain it. He then drove ambulances in France and later commanded the Australian Light Horse Remounts Unit in Egypt. But for much of his life he was city-based. Paterson’s image currently appears on the Australian ten-dollar note, along with an illustration inspired by ‘The man from Snowy River’ (ADB).
Upon taking up his duties as an official artist in Palestine, the first officer Lambert reported to when calling at the base camp at Moascar was Major ‘Banjo’ Paterson. He wrote to Amy on 15 January 1918 that ‘I am sitting in Banjo Paterson's tent ... Already I have done three pieces of work and everywhere I look there are glorious pictures, magnificent men and really top-hole Australian horses’ (ML MSS 97/4, item 4).
Lambert had illustrated Paterson's essay, ‘Buffalo shooting in Australia’ for the
Sydney Mail on 7 January 1899 (p.23).
In 1929 Paterson wrote a poem ‘To George Lambert’:
Come all ye men of paint and pen,
Who toil with hand and brain.
Forsake the town and take the brown
And dusty roads again,
The tracks that we old-timers know,
Who showed you all the way to go
With Clancy of the Overflow
Across the Black Soil Plain.