Sherwood, Queensland on 24 March 1872 the son of John Walker, school teacher
and first headmaster of Kalkie State School, Bundaberg who had migrated from
Scotland in 1862 and Janet née Wilson. Henry was educated at Bundaberg state School
and Brisbane Grammar School before studying at Melbourne University (M.A.,
1892) with first class honours in Logic and Philosophy. Soon after
graduating he was appointed junior master at “Wadhurst” - Church of England
Boys’ Grammar (1895) followed by a number of years at “Cumloden” - Geelong
College (1896-1900) before returning to the Senior School staff (1901-18);
from senior master in chemistry to headmaster of the Lower School (1911-18),
Walker was in the first flight of teachers. Described as one who
“could inspire the brilliant, encourage the dull, reform the lazy, and teach
the average as very few men can”, in July 1918 he was appointed second
headmaster of Grimwade House Preparatory School (1918-24). As a headmaster
he selflessly devoted his time to the students, even to the smallest boys
“he was always approachable, always unaffected, and always transparently
straight-forward…every boy felt that he had in him a friend as well as a
headmaster”. Walker's life was tragically cut short on 15 January 1925, aged 52
when he and two others were hit by an unlicensed driver in a Buick vehicle
at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets while returning from
Queenscliff; before Chief Justice (Sir) William Irvine (1858-1943) with
Hugh Macindoe (q.v.)
prosecuting, Rachel May Foster aged 33 was found guilty of manslaughter and
fined £250 and given a suspended sentence for life. The Prime Minister
Stanley Bruce (1883-1967), a former old boy of the school, attended Walker’s
funeral. He was survived by his wife Henrietta (d 1964); the year
before his death he published “Matt, jeune australien” (1924).
(above) Henry Walker
(Reproduced with kind permission of
Melbourne Grammar School)
The Argus 16, 17, 19, 21, 30 & 31 January
1925, 3, 21, 24 & 27 February 1925.
The Age 16 January 1925.
The Herald 16 January 1925.
The Melburnian 15 May 1925.
James, A., “A Portrait of Grimwade. The First
75 Years 1918-1993” (1993).
“1918 Grimwade House 1968” (1968).
“A Biographical Register 1788-1939” (Vol II).
Wendy Neaton of Brisbane, first cousin of
Henry Walker, three times removed.
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