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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

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Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

William Barr (Will) Craig (1875–1934)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Strong words, my comrades, but the truth is often expressed in strong words and is often unpleasant. Will Craig whatever the medical certificate may say was murdered—killed by the Capitalistic system just as surely as if he had been shot by Fascists or Nazis. Coming of a strong Scottish stock; sturdily built himself, living a clean temperate life, he should easily have reached the proverbial three score years and ten. Instead of which, at the early age of 58 he has gone. At rest after all his years of battling against poverty. The system sets this man, who for most of his life had handled nothing heavier than a Pen — aged 58, to swing a pick and handle a shovel in reward for the very barest existence. The system, for most of Craig's life denied him the right of free mental and literary expression; and rather than write against his class-consciousness, he fought a continuous fight against starvation—mental and physical. In a scientifically organised society he would have been profitably employed as a teacher of literature, as a librarian or even as an orchardist, an occupation for which he longed and for which Will was fitted. I venture t0 say that in Russia his ability would have been used to the State's advantage, not wasted as a shovel-stiff.

Well comrades, the best way to honor Will Craig's memory is to carry on his work for a Co-operative Commonwealth. From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.

Original Publication

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Citation details

'Craig, William Barr (Will) (1875–1934)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Greig, Walter

Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland


20 February, 1934 (aged ~ 59)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lung)

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.