Hedley Percy Angelo O'Mant was born in Hackney, London, in the fourth quarter of 1899, to an Irish father and an Italian mother. He attended the King Edward VI boarding school in Surrey, and joined the Amalgamated Press in the early days of the First World War, signing up with the London Scottish cadets and enjoying the female attention the uniform brought him. When he was old enough he joined the Royal Flying Corps, serving as an observer at the rear of an plane, often armed only with a revolver.

He tried to return to the AP after his discharge, but older staff who had signed up earlier had returned to their jobs and there was no room for him, so he joined Aldine Press, editing their detective title Dixon Hawke, but didn't enjoy it. He married Evelyn Davies in Wandsworth, London, in the second quarter of 1922. Evelyn was soon pregnant, and his pay at Aldine was inadequate. He got a position in the chorus of a touring musical for a while, and eventually did find himself back at the AP, working on The Magnet.

He wrote numerous stories for a variety of titles, using pseudonyms including Hedley Scott, Martin Clifford, Owen Conquest and Ralph Redway, and went on to edit Pilot and Ranger. He married several times, and left the AP during the early years of the Second World War to pursue a business opportunity. He died of heart trouble in Battersea, London, on 30 December 1955.


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