Jack Edgar George Egan was born in Alstonville on 14 January 1915, the second of six children. He grew up on a dairy farm at Doon Doon in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. He attended one teacher schools and finished his education in 1929 to work on the family farm, where he demonstrated special skill in gardening and agriculture. He served on the Malayan Peninsula in the Second World War and was interned at Changi after the fall of Singapore. Egan was accidentally killed while tree felling in the jungle, dying of his injuries on 29 October 1942.