AustLit logo
Colin Bingham Colin Bingham i(A7143 works by) (a.k.a. Colin William Hugh Bingham)
Also writes as: Middlemarch
Born: Established: 1898 Richmond, Richmond - Julia Creek area, Far North Queensland, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 24 Feb 1986 Wahroonga, Hornsby area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Colin Bingham was born at the Twenty-Mile, a Cobb and Co staging post twenty miles from Richmond, North Queensland. He was the second youngest of nine children, educated at home by a series of governesses and later at Townsville Central State School, where his literary leanings were encouraged by the principal, Percy Rowland. At eighteen Bingham volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force. Initially rejected on medical grounds, he was accepted in a later intake.

He was subsequently discharged as medically unfit, however this service made him eligible for entry to the University of Queensland under the Soldiers' Matriculation scheme. He commenced studies in 1920 but lack of money forced his departure eighteen months later. Although his academic career was unspectacular Bingham established the college magazine Argo and established friendships with other writers, including Jack Lindsay, Edgar Holt, Eric Partridge and Percy Stephensen.

Bingham returned to Townsville where he worked as a proof-reader on the Townsville Daily Bulletin, returning to Brisbane in 1922 where he took up a reporter's position on the Brisbane Telegraph. In 1923 he enrolled in the University of Queensland's Diploma of Journalism as an external student, completing it in 1925. During this time he was twice editor of the university literary journal Galmahra. On 17 November, 1925, he married a fellow student, Alexa Mary Strachan.

Bingham wrote leaders and theatre and concert notes for the Telegraph, as well as Middlemarch's 'Notes on the News', comprising poetry and editorial comment. In 1930 he was appointed literary editor and strove to publish material that had appeal for reasonably well-educated readers. His role as literary editor also gave him the opportunity to publish work by his friends, James Picot and Brian Vrepont.

In 1940 Bingham was seconded to Australian Associated Press, London. He returned to Australia in 1942 and joined the staff of the The Sydney Morning Herald and was sent back to London in 1943 as the paper's correspondent. As war correspondent, Bingham reported on a range of political developments, including the Allied leaders' conference in Cairo in November, 1943. From March 1944 Bingham reported on diplomatic events and after the war continued as diplomatic correspondent until he returned to Australia in 1948.

Once back in Australia Bingham was a leader-writer and foreign affairs commentator for The Sydney Morning Herald and appointed associate editor in 1957 and editor in 1961. After his retirement in 1965 he published books of poetry and general scholarship, as well as his autobiography, The Beckoning Horizon (1983), in which he stated that 'one wrote in order to have readers, or listeners'. Bingham died on 24 February, 1986, survived by his wife and a son and two daughters.

Most Referenced Works


Last amended 6 Nov 2013 16:39:28
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: