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Patrick Austin (Paddy) Lamb (1871–1962)

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This entry is from People Australia

Patrick Austin (Paddy) Lamb (1871-1962) miner, Socialist and working-class activist 

Birth: 23 July 1871 at Warrenheip, Ballarat district, Victoria, son of Roady Rodney Lamb (1840-1911), a farmer born in Tipperary, Ireland, and his native-born first wife Ellen, née Butler (1837-1877). Marriage: 24 April 1905 at pro-cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Emily (Daisy) Cogan (1880-1906). They had one daughter. Death: 9 April 1962 in Broken Hill. Religion: Catholic. 

  • A miner at Ballarat before moving to Broken Hill in 1894.
  • In 1905 was working as a silver miner.
  • Participated in many industrial struggles including 1909 lock-out and big strike of 1919-20. Sometime vice-president Barrier Branch of Amalgamated Miners' Association and trustee. Later president Workers Industrial Union of Australia for 12 months following Big Strike. Prominent in establishing union Badge Shows. Broken Hill representative on Central Council Australasian Coal & Shale Employees' Federation 1921-24.
  • Active in Barrier Socialist Party formed 1906, representing it at conferences directed towards forming an Australia-wide united socialist party. Foundation member of Communist Party of Australia 1920.
  • Reputedly the first Australian to visit Russia after the 1917 revolution, attending founding conference of Red International of Labour Unions 1921, working passage in the stokehole of a ship. Police file in Jan 1922 reports that: “Lamb is not known to have filled any executive position in any extremist organisations beyond going to Russia as a delegate. His avoidance of publicity seems habitual and not unmixed with a certain amount of cunning. Sufficient, however, is known of him to mark him as a hard worker in these 'causes', and one well versed in the art of spreading revolutionary literature”.
  • Associated with Marxist study groups for many years. Founding member Barrier branch, Workers' Educational Association. An active member of the Barrier Social Democratic Club. Member, United Ancient Order of Druids Triumph Lodge.

Edgar Ross, A history of the Miners' Federation of Australia ([Sydney] 1970); information supplied by E. Ross, 1990; BDT Centenary Souvenir Edition; Barrier Daily Truth, 11 April 1962; Common Cause, 14 April 1962 p.2; Barrier Miner? 1906 p.3; Australian Archives Series A6122 Item 111 Summary of Communism Vol. 1 (comprising summaries) 1-25, June 1922 to December 1923 pp 28-29, 38-40, 66-68, 102, 108-09.

Citation details

'Lamb, Patrick Austin (Paddy) (1871–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


23 July, 1871
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia


9 April, 1962 (aged 90)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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