People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Thomas Henry Bell (1883–1964)

This article was published:

Thomas Henry Bell (1883-1964) printer and trade union leader 

Birth: 21 December 1883 at Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, son of Sydney-born parents Charles David Bell, commission agent, and Lucy, née Webber.  Marriage: 27 May 1911 at St Francis Xavier’s Catholic Church, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, to native-born Frances “Nellie” Dillon, lady’s help. They had two daughters. Death: 31 July 1964 at Neutral Bay, Sydney. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Worked as letterpress printer for 19 years. Became president, Letterpress Printers’ Union and, later, secretary, succeeding W. Paris.
  • In 1919 was one of the leaders of amalgamation of printing trades unions. Founding secretary of the Amalgamated Printing Trades Employees’ Union of New South Wales. Held this position until retirement in 1960. Despite long period of service was more titular head than actively engaged in union’s campaigns.
  • Delegate to NSW Trades and Labor Council. For a time was on management committee of Radio 2KY.
  • Foundation member of the Graphic Arts Club and committee member to 1964.
  • Honorary secretary of the North Sydney Federal Electoral Council of the Australia Labor Party and of the St Leonards branch in 1927-29.
  • Possessed personal charm and physical presence.
  • Cause of death myocardial degeneration.

The Amalgamated Printing Trades Union Review
, August 1964; Labor Daily, 13 January 1927, A.L.P. Year Book / Australia Labor Party. New South Wales Branch, 1943/35.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Bell, Thomas Henry (1883–1964)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


21 December, 1883
Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


31 July, 1964 (aged 80)
Neutral Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism