Service, Robert William

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Service, Robert William

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1874-1958

History

Robert William Service was born in Lancashire, England on January 16, 1874. At the age of 5 he moved to Scotland to live with his grandfather and 3 aunts. His family moved to Glasgow in 1883. He was educated in Scotland. After leaving school he worked at the Commercial Bank of Canada. He attended the University of Glasgow studying English Literature, leaving after only a year. In 1894 he emigrated to Canada, sailing into Montreal, Quebec and then subsequently taking the train across the country to Vancouver Island. He joined Canadian Bank of Commerce and was stationed all over British Columbia, eventually moving to the Yukon - Whitehorse, and Dawson City. In 1907 he published his first collection of poems "Songs of a Sourdough" which included some of his most well know works " The Cremation of Sam McGee", "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Men that don't Fit In". This work was followed by "Ballads of a Cheechako" (1909) and "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone" (1912). Along with his books of poetry, Service wrote two autobiographies "Ploughman of the Moon" (1945) and "Harper of Heaven" (1948).
After WW I, Robert Service married Germaine Bougein. They lived in Europe, mostly in the South of France until his death in 1958.

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