Born: Established: 18 Jul 1909 London ; Died: 25 Mar 1985 Toowoomba
After attending St Mary Magdalene's Church School, Reginald Ottley left his home in London at fourteen to go to sea. He worked variously as a deck boy, cook and fireman's peggy, travelling all over the world including Australia, where he determined to live. On arrival in Australia, Ottley travelled to the far west of New South Wales to work on a grazing property where he set his books for children. The Australian landscape influenced his writing and his experiences inspired many of the lifestyles of his fictional characters. He later moved to Fiji to take up a job as manager of a large cattle station, but returned to Sydney after the outbreak of the Second World War, where he was drafted into the Remount Squadron and supervised the breaking in of 5000 horses. Ottley later worked in the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia as a cattle worker. He lived in England and Ireland during the 1960s and continued to write there, before returning to Australia in 1970.
Source: Reginald Leslie Ottley by Belle Alderman (Reading Time, no. 95, April 1995)