Born in Melbourne, Vic., on 11 May 1872 and died in the same city on 12 August 1944.
At the early age of 11 he was apprenticed as a sign and label writer in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, and he was to remain there for 55 years. He learnt much of his botanical knowledge under F. Mueller, who paid him for material which he secured on collecting trips in his own time. St John came to know the Victorian flora very well and it has been recorded that he had few equals in naming specimens. In 1917 he was promoted to head gardener and later he became classifier and was put in charge of the Economic Museum of the Herbarium. He collected extensively in Victoria and one of his more important trips was a botanical survey of Wilson’s Promontory in company with J. W. C. Audas. He published articles on the study in Vic. Nat. of 1910 and 1911. He joined the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria in 1908 and was its president in 1929-30. He retired from the Gardens in 1938.Source: Extracted from: Hall, N. (1978) Botanists of the eucalypts. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne