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Jones, William Arthur (Will) (1870–1911)

from Daily Herald

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

William Arthur Jones to whom fell the honor of inaugurating the first union-owned daily paper in the English speaking world—"'Barrier Daily Truth"— passed away on Friday night. For years he had endured almost continuous pain, due to an aneurism of the aorta, which occasioned neuralgia of the nerves of the chest and back and brought on terrible lung hemmorages. In spite of the physical sufferings he was wonderfully bright and genial and full of enthusiasm for the working-class movement.

A plumber by trade he never lost his sense of kinship with the class to which he belonged, and his life was devoted to what he believed to be the highest good of his comrades. He had an exceedingly active brain, which seemed to be always working automatically and subconsciously to perfect schemes for the triumph of unionists. Shrewd and capable he steered clear of the rocks of libel and contempt of court which were so thickly strewn in the channel of the Barrier lockout of 1909, and yet made the name of the "Barrier Daily Truth" a synonym for trenchant criticism of the enemies of labor and for alert up-to-date journalism. He was a unionist at an early age, but his health broke down owing to an attack of lead poisoning contracted in the course of his daily work. He became secretary of the Queensland. "Vanguard" and the wide range of reading which he was able to enjoy while in that position made him one of the highest authorities on economics and working-class tactics in Australia. For some years he contributed to various newspapers and about the year 1905 was appointed editor of the "Westralian Worker" in Kalgoorlie. After about two years in that capacity, in which he stirred the unionists of the goldfields with his vigorous writing, he accepted the position of editor of the weekly "Barrier Truth." That the paper expanded into the present daily was largely due to his personal efforts and sound business knowledge. Recently he had been special labor reporter on the Sydney "Daily Telegraph," where his services were held in high regard. He leaves a wife and three children,

Wherever Will Jones went he left behind him a coterie of students of working class economics, and thus his editorial writings are not the only traces of his great influence on the Labor movement of the Commonwealth. A fighter to the core he had enemies as well as friends, but those who have forgotten personal pique for love for the workers' cause will join with those who knew the man and his work in mourning the death of one whose life has had an immense bearing upon the thought of the workers of Australia.

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Citation details

'Jones, William Arthur (Will) (1870–1911)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/jones-william-arthur-will-32731/text40691, accessed 26 September 2022.

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