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Frank Bignold (1863–1922)

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Frank Bignold (1863-1922) journalist and trade union official

Birth: 8 September 1863 at Arrah, Bengal, India (now Bangladesh), son of Thomas Frank Bignold, judge in Bengal Civil Service, and Sophia Mary, née Howe. Marriage: 5 August 1891 at Zeehan, Tasmania, with Catholic rites to Margaret Mary Josephine Power.  They had two sons (twins) and three daughters. Death: 15 May 1922 at Marrickville, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated at King Edward VI School, Stafford, England. A first-class athlete, runner and footballer in his youth.
  • Migrated to Tasmania about 1884. Taught at Launceston High School and Launceston Grammar School.
  • In 1902 joined reading and then literary staff of Daily Telegraph in Sydney. June 1911 appointed Secretary, NSW Branch of Australian Journalists’ Association. 1912 appointed general secretary. Encouraged publication of union journal, The Australian Journalist.
  • 1912 sacked and perhaps victimised by employer for union activity. He considered that full-time status with union was desirable since continuing employment as journalist meant that ‘Half the “ginger” was necessarily taken out of a man’s attack if he was labouring under the disadvantage of having to complain about breaches of an award to his own employer’.
  • February 1914, became first paid officer of union and secretary until 1915.
  • Toured North Queensland in 1915 recruiting and organising members. Effective organiser but by 1915 younger faction felt AJA was in need of revitalisation, and moved against him.
  • During World War I joined Censor’s staff. Post war appointed publicity manager for Marcus Clark and Co. Left AJA after continuing eligibility was queried.
  • 1919-20 published ‘profusely illustrated’ brochures on sporting topics, The Story of the Davis Cup, The World’s Sculling Championship, and The Story of the Tests.
  • Founder of Sydney Press Club.

The Australasian Journalist
, 25 March 1914, 15 Aug 1917, 15 June 1922, 24 April 1931; Clem Lloyd, Profession: Journalist. A History of the Australian Journalists’ Association (Sydney, 1985).

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Bignold, Frank (1863–1922)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


8 September, 1863
Arrah, Bengal, Bangladesh


15 May, 1922 (aged 58)
Marrickville, Sydney, 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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