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Thomas Pilditch Candish (1859–1931)

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Thomas Pilditch Candish (1859-1931) carpenter, gaoled trade union leader 

Birth: March 1859 at Newton Ferrers, Devonshire, England, son of Thomas Lee Pilditch Candish (1834-1902), carpenter, and Jane Ann, née Jenkins. Marriage: 31 December 1890 at the Registry Office, Stockton, New South Wales, to New Zealand-born Christiana Verona Simpson (1863-1935). They had two daughters and two sons. Death: 9 May 1931 at his residence in Palmyra, Fremantle, Western Australia. 

  • Arrived in Sydney NSW in 1878. Was a joiner living at Stockton, Newcastle, in 1890. Moved to Western Australia in the 1890s. A daughter was born in the Albany district in 1898.
  • Miners’ Union at Phillips River, WA, 1906-1906.
  • Secretary, Fremantle branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners (ASCJ) 1914-1915.
  • Member of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was charged at Perth with seven other men with conspiring to commit seditious acts in 1918. A letter to his son Montague intercepted by Military Intelligence referred to bitterness re ‘loyalists’ employed during lumpers’ strike in 1917 suggesting ‘You should have done the same as they are doing in Buenos Ayres, ripped the railway up from Perth to Fremantle and destroyed the three bridges, two at Fremantle and one on the Canning. [sic]. Yours for the revolution’.
  • On the charge of sedition, though all the other defendants, including his son ‘Monte’, were found not guilty on 15 January 1918, Candish was convicted and gaoled for 6 months with hard labour.
  • Cause of death: skin carcinoma of abdomen, asthenia (about six months).

Bill Latter, Blacklegs: the Scottish Colliery Strike of 1911 (UWA, Perth, 1995).

Additional Resources

  • sedition trial, Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), 22 January 1918, p 12
  • sedition trial, Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA), 22 January 1918, p 27

Citation details

'Candish, Thomas Pilditch (1859–1931)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


March, 1859
Newton Ferrers, Devon, England


9 May, 1931 (aged 72)
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (skin)

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