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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
All Entries 1997 - 2002
All Entries 2002
Odds and Ends, Other Items Of Interest About Robert


Published by Webmaster on 07/21/2003 (39041 reads)
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A Chronology of the Life of Robert W. Service

1872 October 21: Robert Service, a Scottish bank clerk, age 35 and Emily Parker, age 17, daughter of an English factory owner, are married in Ormskirk, England.

1874 January 16: Robert William Service is born in Preston, England. The first of 10 children, 7 sons, and three daughters. In order of birth they were; Robert William, Alexander,  Joseph, Harry, Peter H.W., Agnes Anne, Beatrice, Sybil, Stanley F., and Albert P.

1878 Spring: The family moves to Glasglow, Scotland.

1880: In Kilwinning, at age 6, Robert offers the blessing at supper on the occasion of his birthday; his first recorded poem.

God bless the cakes and bless the jam;
Bless the cheese and the cold boiled ham;
Bless the scones Aunt Jeannie makes,
And save us all from belly-aches. Amen


1882, age eight

1888: Robert leaves school. Obtains a job in a shipping office. Business soon goes broke.

1888: At the age of 15 he takes a job at the Stobcross branch of the Commercial Bank of Scotland as an apprentice and is paid £20 a year.

1889: Robert falls in love for the first time with Maisie McQuarrie.

1889-1895: Sometime during this period Robert becomes stage-struck and performs in several plays.

1895: Robert becomes a fully qualified bank clerk. Salary to be £70 a year.

1896 March 31: At the age of 22, he resigns from the bank to go to Canada with the idea of ranching. He departs on the SS Concordia a few months later and lands in Montreal with $5 and "the clothes he stands in."

1896 May: Takes a train to Winnipeg, then to Calgary, then to Vancouver Island, and Victoria. He becomes a farm laborer.

1897: Moves to a more remote farm nearer "the wilderness." He learns to play the banjo.

1897: Works on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Duncan. He becomes a "cow-juice jerker."

1897: Moves to Seattle, arrives with $50. Then to San Francisco where he spends one month. Then on to Los Angles where he takes work digging a tunnel to the San Gabriel River.

1897: Works at various manual labor jobs; picking oranges, sandwich maker, dishwasher.

1897: Places an advertisement as a tutor and accepts a job in San Diego tutoring 3 "girls." It turns out the "girls" are in the employ of a high-class bordello.

1898-1900: Spends almost 2 years traveling throughout the American Southwest taking various jobs.

1903 October: Travels to Victoria. Works on roads. Studies at the university, but quits. Flat-broke and jobless in Vancouver, Service decides to try banking again. He applies rather diffidently to the Bank of Commerce and, to his astonishment, is hired immediately.

1905 Transferred to the Yukon bank branch at Whitehorse. Service revels in his new life in the Yukon. Although he participates in all the social activities of Whitehorse, he is happiest when he is alone, tramping through the woods, delighting in the vast solitude of the North.

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