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Henry (Harry) Chesson (1862–1948)

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This entry is from People Australia

Henry Chesson, 1905

Henry Chesson, 1905

Henry (Harry) Chesson (1862-1948) bricklayer, mason, trade union official and politician

Birth: 15 September 1862 at Adelaide, South Australia, son of English-born parents William Chesson (1836-1816), a bootmaker, from Gedney Dyke, Lincolnshire, and Josepha, née Ladnar (1840-1882), from Penzance, Cornwall. Marriage: 5 January 1888 by Wesleyan minister, Rev. E. Knee, at Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria, to native-born Lucy Ann Cassidy (1865-1958). They had five daughters and three sons. Death: 12 July 1948 in his home at Croydon, SA.

  • Educated at Mr. Moores' Pulteney Street School and Grote Street school, Adelaide.
  • Began work in boot factory in 1874. At 15 was apprenticed to mason & bricklayer; worked in this trade in Adelaide until 1885.
  • In Victoria from 1885. Joined Masons' & Bricklayers' Society, then Melbourne Bricklayers' Society.
  • Returned to SA in 1892. President of Bricklayers' Society (Adelaide) several times, also trustee & financial secretary (1905).
  • Society’s delegate to Adelaide Trades and Labour Council (TLC) and Eight Hour Committee; vice-president, then president and trustee TLC. Society delegate on United Labor Party (ULP) of SA. ULP vice-president, then president (1905). Member Clarion Fellowship of Socialists.
  • Elected Labor member of the House of Assembly for Port Adelaide on 27 May 1905. Changed seats and on 12 March 1915 was returned for West Torrens. Chairman of Committees 1915-1918. Joined Nationalists 1917. Defeated on 5 April 1918.
  • Contested West Torrens in 1921 and the Australian Senate in 1922.
  • For many years was president of the South Australian Amateur Swimming Association and of the Royal Life Saving Society.

Howard Coxon, John Playford & Robert Reid, Biographical Register of the South Australian Parliament 1857-1957 (Adelaide, 1985); Verity Burgmann, In Our Time: Socialism and the Rise of Labor, 1885-1905, (Sydney, 1985); Worker (Wagga), 29 April 1905, p 7.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Weekly Herald (Adelaide), 2 April 1898, p 1
  • profile, Worker (Wagga, NSW), 29 April 1905, p 7
  • photo, Observer (Adelaide), 19 February 1931, p 9
  • death notice, News (Adelaide), 13 July 1948, p 4

Citation details

'Chesson, Henry (Harry) (1862–1948)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012