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Wallace Lyle (Wal) Dawson (1910–1983)

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This entry is from People Australia

Wallace Lyle (Wal) Dawson (1910-1983) coal miner, trade union officer, Communist activist 

Birth: 16 October 1910 at Cessnock, New South Wales, and registered as Lyle Wallace Dawson, son of native-born parents Joseph James Chilvers (Joe) Dawson (1881-1955), injured coal miner, music teacher and violin maker, and Netta Jane, née Smith (1884-1959). Marriage: (1) 1932 at Cessnock to native-born Dulcie May Johnson (1912-1987). They had three daughters and one son. (2) 1964 at Maryborough, Queensland, to Harriet Charmain Hart (1927-2004), a nurse. Death: 1 October 1983 in hospital at Chermside, Brisbane, Queensland. 

  • Aged 13 worked Aberdare Shaft, Hunter Valley, NSW. In 1929, as a youth was involved in Rothbury lock-out, where his father was assaulted. Due to economic conditions he did not work again full-time as a miner at Aberdare until 1936-1939.
  • Later worked as a seaman, then as a coal miner in Illawarra. Full-time secretary of Illawarra District Trades and Labor Council. President of Illawarra branch of the Communist Party of Australia. Organiser of co-ops in Papua New Guinea. Labourer at Port Kembla, coal miner at Coal Cliff. Selected as Communist candidate for State seat of Cunningham in 1949; withdrew when ill health forced him to leave the district.
  • Moved to Collinsville, North Queensland, where took part in 21-day stay-in strike in 1952. Later worked at West Moreton field and Woodend, peripatetic due to black-listing. Led strike at Woodend, also worked as miner at Acland (Darling Downs) and Rylance, returning to Woodend. Retired with dusted lungs in 1970. In many mines was president of miners’ lodges.
  • Cause of death: cardiogenic shock, emphysema/right pneumothorax and carcinoma bladder. 

Sources
Common Cause
, 27 September 1978, 9 November 1983.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Tribune (Sydney), 4 June 1949, p 7

Citation details

'Dawson, Wallace Lyle (Wal) (1910–1983)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/dawson-wallace-lyle-wal-33319/text41582, accessed 23 May 2024.

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