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Ernest Paul (Ernie) Briemle (1894–1990)

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This entry is from People Australia

Ernest Paul (Ernie) Briemle (1894-1990), wharf labourer, militant socialist and gaoled trade unionist 

Birth: 1894 in Zurich, Switzerland, son of Xavier Briemle, gardener, and Sophie, née Boser. Marriage: 13 October 1944 at District Registrar’s office, Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales, to a divorcee Ellen Krasnik, née Kurinoff (d.1972), who had been born in Nijni, Udinsk, Siberia, Russia. Death: 1 February 1990 at Mater Misericordiae hospital, Waratah, Newcastle, aged 96. 

  • Arrived in Sydney, NSW, aged 18, as a fireman, aboard the Hamburg, on 25 November 1911. Spent 11 years as itinerant labourer in Queensland, then moved to Sydney where he worked as a wharfie.
  • 1928 he shifted to Wollongong. Most prominent radical among Wollongong’s unemployed during Great Depression. Militant socialist.
  • In 1915 he was arrested and convicted for breaching War Precautions Act, sentenced to three months imprisonment.
  • Active member of the Waterside Workers’ Federation, Wollongong; regarded by employers as ‘a menace’. In 1931 he was involved in Bulli riot and arrested. Criticised judge for ‘being biased to (sic) working-class principles’.
  • Assaulted by New Guard in 1932. Ernie was well-known for his work for Spanish Relief.
  • Naturalised in 1940.
  • In later years a retired widower, lived at Nelson Bay, NSW.
  • Cause of death lactic acidosis, mesenteric ischaemia.

Len Richardson, The bitter years: Wollongong during the Great Depression (Sydney, 1984)

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Briemle, Ernest Paul (Ernie) (1894–1990)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Ernest Briemle, 1937

Ernest Briemle, 1937

Workers Weekly (Sydney), 16 July 1937, p 1

Life Summary [details]


Zurich, Switzerland


1 February, 1990 (aged ~ 96)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

lactic acidosis

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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