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Ainsworth, William (1875–1945)

William Ainsworth, (1875-1945): Born 16 June 1875, Lambton, NSW. Son of John Ainsworth, schoolmaster, & Sarah nee McKean. Never married. Died 7 February 1945, Vaucluse, NSW. Church of England.

Fireman and engine driver. Employed in NSW Railways Department. c. 1894, casually; 1900-03, cleaner; 1903-1911, fireman; 1911, driver. Joined NSW Locomotive, Engine-drivers, Firemen and Cleaners Association (later Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen); NSW Secretary, 1911-1935, resigned due to ill-health; member 1917 Strike Committee. ALP MLC, 1925-1934, assisting union’s use of parliament as a forum for union’s grievances. 1929, put case against restoring seniority of scabs from 1917 strike. ‘In Parliament he was not often heard, but when he had occasion to speak, as he did on the restoration of seniority for locomotive enginemen affected by the strike, in the whole history of which he was steeped, he was always assured of a closely attentive hearing by a full and respectful House’.

Radi, Spearritt and Hinton; Railway and Tramway Officers’ Gazette, 20 November 1935; Locomotive Journal, 8 March 1945; Patmore PhD thesis

Original Publication

  • Biographical Register of the Australian Labour Movement 1788-1975, 2012

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 1945, p 10

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Citation details

'Ainsworth, William (1875–1945)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 2 June 2020.

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