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C. E. W. Bean C. E. W. Bean i(A9546 works by) (a.k.a. Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean)
Also writes as: C. E. W. B.
Born: Established: 18 Nov 1879 Bathurst, Bathurst area, Bathurst - Orange area, Central West NSW, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 30 Aug 1968 Concord, Drummoyne - Concord area, Sydney Inner West, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
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C. E. W. Bean's family moved to England ten years after his birth. On completion of his secondary education, he studied classics at Oxford, graduating with second class honours. After returning to Australia in 1904, Bean worked as a lawyer in New South Wales, an experience which led to his writing 'The Impressions of a New Chum'. Although the manuscript was not published, eight articles containing material from it were printed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Having decided to become a reporter, Bean began working for the Herald in June 1908.

Bean was special correspondent on HMS Powerful, flagship of the of the Royal Navy squadron on the Australian station, about which he wrote a self-published book, The Flagship of the South. Bean was subsequently sent to New South Wales to report on the wool industry, and the resulting series of articles was published in a book, On the Wool Track (1910).

In September 1914, Bean became Australia's official war correspondent, as a result of which he landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, a few hours after the dawn attack had begun. In August he was shot in the leg but stayed at Gallipoli throughout the campaign, continuing to send stories back to Australia.

On Bean's return to Australia in 1919 he moved into Tuggeranong homestead, south of Canberra, and began work on the Official History of Australia in the War 1914-1918. The twelfth and final volume of this seminal work was published in 1942, and in 1946 Bean also produced a single-volume history, ANZAC to Amiens. In 1930 he received an honorary degree from the University of Melbourne.

The opening of the Australian War Memorial on 11 November 1941 saw the realisation of a long-held dream of Bean's. In November 1916 he had suggested to the Australian Minister for Defence that photographs and relics of war should be put on display in a national museum. Bean also urged the systematic collection and preservation of war records, and, in an article in the Commonwealth Gazette in September 1917, described war relics as 'sacred things'. The War Memorial collection came to include 266 of Bean's notebooks, along with letters and diaries dating from November 1914.

During the Second World War, Bean wrote a pamphlet called The Old AIF and the New in 1940 and a book titled War Aims of a Plain Australian. In 1952, he became chairman of the Board of Management of the War Memorial. From 1947 to 1958, Bean chaired the Promotion Appeals Board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and in 1950 wrote a history of Australia's private schools. Towards the end of his life, Bean wrote his last book: Two Men I Knew – a biography of Generals Bridges and Brudenell White.

Source: Australian War Memorial,, accessed 13th November 2007.

Most Referenced Works


  • C. E. W. Bean was included in the Bulletin's '100 Most Influential Australians' list in 2006.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Western Front Diaries of Charles Bean Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2018 14745949 2018 single work diary

'Australia’s official First World War correspondent, Charles Bean, saw more of the Australian Imperial Force’s actions and battles on the Western Front than anyone. Bean’s extensive private wartime diaries, held by the Australian War Memorial, form a unique and personal record of his experiences and observations throughout the war and were the basis of his monumental multi-volume official war history. While a selection of his diaries relating to the Gallipoli campaign have been available for some time, Bean’s Western Front diaries are published here for the first time, edited by esteemed historian Peter Burness, and accompanied by over 500 remarkable photographs, sketches and maps.' (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Non Fiction Book
2019 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year
Last amended 18 Nov 2014 05:07:35
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