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John Whitham (1873–1943)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

John Whitham (1873-1943) bricklayer, contractor and Labor activist

Birth: September 1873 at Addingham, Yorkshire, England, son of Thomas Whitham (1852-1928), bricklayer and builder, and Margaret, née Gill (1852-1925). Marriage: (1) 1904 at Fitzroy, Melbourne, to Amy Ann Brooks (Aimee). They had two fostered children. (2) Mary Ethel? Death: 5 July 1943 in hospital at Coburg, Melbourne; usual residence Swan Hill, Victoria. Religion: Methodist.

  • Arrived in Australia with his parents and siblings about 1880.
  • Learned his trade as bricklayer under his father. Worked in the family contracting business at Swan Hill, Victoria, from at least 1903: “played a prominent part in public matters, charitable matters and social matters” in the district. Member, sometime vice-president, of the Swan Hill branch of the Political Labor Council. Nominated as candidate for Swan Hill shire council in April 1907.
  • Served for four years in the Victorian Rangers. Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 2 July 1915 at the age of 41 years and 10 months. Posted overseas with No. 2 Squadron of the 1st Remount Unit in November 1915.
  • Returned as corporal from Suez to Australia aboard the Sreang Bee on 29 April 1916. Discharged in Melbourne on 14 June 1916.
  • Was a commissioner on Swan Hill Waterworks trust from about 1914 until June 1917 when, having not attended a meeting since October 1916, his seat was declared vacant and he resigned.
  • Involved with his wife in anti-Labor Returned Soldiers’ and Citizens’ Political Federation (1919-1920).
  • Seems to have separated from Amy in the 1920s and was a builder, living in Melbourne with Mary Ethel until his death.

Additional Resources

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Whitham, John (1873–1943)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/whitham-john-33915/text42491, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Birth

September, 1873
Addington, Yorkshire, England

Death

5 July, 1943 (aged 69)
Coburg, Melbourne, Victoria, 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.

Occupation
Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism