It is a bit strange, when you think about it, that one of Canada’s most renowned poets did not actually spend much of his life here in Canada, yet his works spread news of “the great white north” far and wide.
Robert W. Service was born in England in 1874, moved to Canada in 1894, and by the end of the First World War he was living mostly in France.
When Service came here in 1894, he went to work for The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, first in Victoria, B.C…and eventually wound up in Whitehorse, and Dawson City, in the Yukon.
And, it was there that he shot to fame with his first poetry collection, called “Songs of a Sourdough”, which became a world wide success, and included “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”
That was in 1907 --and other note worthy publications, such as “Rhymes of a Rolling Stone” followed in 1909 and 1912.
Robert Service was known as “the Canadian Kipling” and “the poet of The Yukon.” During the First World War he served as an ambulance driver. He died in France in 1958.
And now you know.