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Watson, Frederick William (c. 1854–1917)

by Chris Cunneen

This entry is from People Australia

Frederick [William] Watson (c.1854-1917?) coalminer, gaoled trade union leader

Birth: in London about 1854, parentage unknown. Unmarried. Death: ?25 May 1917 at Teralba, New South Wales. Religion: Presbyterian?

  • On 6 November 1909 at a meeting of Cardiff, Waratah, Durham, New Lambton, Shortland and Burwood Extended miners’ lodges held at Adamstown, Watson was a delegate appointed by the Burwood (Lambton) miners lodge who urged the meeting to adopt the recommendation of the Colliery Employees Federation to strike until they obtained “redress for their grievances and to “ask southern and western miners, and the waterside workers to lay down their tools in common cause”.
  • He was one of the thirteen such delegates charged under the Industrial Relations Act, 1908, with instigating the “Peter Bowling Strike” of 1909-1910.
  • On 29 December 1909 Watson was fined £100 in default two months imprisonment with hard labour. He was taken to Maitland gaol on 22 February 1910, and released on 4 April.
  • Reliable reports of his activity end in February 1914, when he is last recorded as secretary of the Burwood Miners’ Lodge.
  • It seems likely that he was the Frederick William Watson, quarryman, who was “accidentally killed by an explosion of jelignite whilst firing a shot at a gravel quarry” at Teralba in May 1917.

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Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Watson, Frederick William (c. 1854–1917)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/watson-frederick-william-32178/text39777, accessed 27 November 2021.

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