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Ernest Henry Blanch (c. 1863–1935)

by Peter D. Gardner

This article was published:

Ernest Henry Blanch (c.1863-1935), coalminer and trade union leader

Birth: c.1863 in St Louis, United States of America, son of Adolph Blanch, mariner, and Ann, née Chepney. Marriage: 2 June 1897 with Presbyterian forms in Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria, to Victorian-born Margaret Hogan. They had two daughters and four sons. Death: 28 March 1935 in hospital at Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • In 1893 became foundation secretary of Coal Creek Miners' Association (CCMA) (Korumburra, Victoria) formed — with Samuel Bird and others — after meeting to discuss dismissal of Blanch and another miner for allegedly filling dirty coal. Blanch was subsequently reinstated after agreement reached on hewing rate and fines. Involved in early controversy over mismanagement of union funds.
  • In 1895 was accused of misappropriating Accident Society funds, charges were not substantiated.
  • In 1899 was on deputation to management of Outtrim mine.
  • In May 1901 left the district. Local press noted that he was an ex-president of Outtrim lodge of Victorian Coal Miners' Association. Moved to NSW coalfields.
  • In May 1906, while working at Pelaw Main, moved successfully at special meeting of South Maitland miners that mine-owners be given three months' notice to abolish night shift. The issue precipitated successful strike action in 1907 under the leadership of Peter Bowling.
  • Old Age pensioner at his death from urethral stricture, acute cystitis and pyaemia.

Korumburra Times; Outtrim News; Edgar Ross, A history of the Miners' Federation of Australia ([Sydney] 1970).

Additional Resources

  • funeral notice, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW), 29 March 1935, p 13
  • funeral, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW), 5 April 1935, p 15

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Peter D. Gardner, 'Blanch, Ernest Henry (c. 1863–1935)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1863
St Louis, Missouri, United States of America


28 March, 1935 (aged ~ 72)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

kidney disease

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.

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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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