George Essex Evans was born on 'Waterloo day' in London and migrated to Australia in 1881. He worked as a farmer, teacher and journalist before joining the public service in 1888. He eventually became district registrar at Toowoomba, Queensland.
While in the public service Evans contributed poetry, criticism and articles to a number of periodicals in Australia and England. He edited several short-lived periodicals and, between 1902 and 1905, he wrote a regular column for two Toowoomba newspapers. Evans' writing has been most admired in Queensland, especially in Toowoomba where a monument to his memory was erected.
Evans published his first volume of poetry, Repentance of Magdalene Despar, in 1891. He attracted wide attention when his Federation poem "Ode for Commonwealth Day" won a £50 prize, but the poem was severely criticised by A. G. Stephens. His best-known poem is the frequently anthologised "The Women of the West". His patriotic poem "An Australian Symphony" is also widely admired. Evans published three volumes of poetry during his lifetime and a collected volume was published posthumously in 1928. He died in 1909, following an operation for gallstones.