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Edward James (Ted) Bowman (1874–1943)

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Edward James Bowman (1874-1943) rouseabout, shed hand, shearer and trade union leader 

Birth: 8 August 1874 in Tichbourne goldfields, Young, New South Wales, son of William Sefton Bowman (1829-1918), a farmer born in Kent, England, and native-born Margaret Catherine, née Flynn (1850-1928). Marriage: 1910 at Marrickville, Sydney, to Ada Rose. Death: 14 July 1943 in Newcastle Hospital, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican.

  • 1892 joined General Laborers’ Union, ‘Canonbar’ shed, as shearer. Joined the Australian Socialistic Union in same year.
  • 1896 prominent in western NSW sheds around Bourke and in Toorale strike in 1902. Organiser at Paroo. Moved south to Louth where, near Tilpa, he persuaded a coach load of strike breakers not to scab on the union.
  • 1902-1908 Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) organiser, Culgoa, Brewarrina, Walcha, Narrabri, Armidale and Glen Innes.
  • 1910 elected secretary Bourke Branch of AWU, later Western District based at Armidale.
  • 1894 Secretary, Tichbourne Political Labor League, 1907 Walcha. In 1907 was unsuccessful ALP candidate for state seat of Armidale.
  • Cause of death: congestive cardiac failure, myocardial degeneration and chronic bronchitis.
  • ‘A quiet but solid worker in the Labor movement’.

obit, Newcastle Morning Herald, 16 July 1943, p 4; Australian Worker (Sydney), 13 Jan 1910.

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Citation details

'Bowman, Edward James (Ted) (1874–1943)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


8 August, 1874
Young, New South Wales, Australia


14 July, 1943 (aged 68)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart 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.

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