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Author Information: Martin Allerdale Grainge



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Martin Allerdale Grainger was born in London, England, in 1874. When he was two years old, his family moved to Australia, where he spent his childhood. He returned to England following his early education abroad, eventually entering King’s College, Cambridge, in 1893.

After his graduation, Grainger set out for the Klondike, where he stayed briefly before volunteering to serve in the Boer War in 1899. After the war he fashioned a varied and colourful career which included logging and placer mining in the Canadian Northwest, tutoring students in England, and teaching mathematics on Vancouver Island.

Grainger began his career in the British Columbia forestry industry in 1909, first as chief of records, serving as a secretary of a royal commission on logging practices in the province, and writing most of the report that led to the Forestry Act of 1912 and the creation of the British Columbia Forest Service. In 1917 he was appointed chief forester, a position he held until he retired to his private lumber business in 1920.

Drawing extensively on his first-hand experience in the coastal forests, Grainger wrote his single literary work, Woodsmen of the West, in 1908, a highly original depiction of the frustrations and struggles of the West Coast logger at the turn of the century.

Martin Allerdale Grainger died in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1941.


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