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John Casey (1868–1921)

by Peter D. Gardner

This article was published:

John Casey also known as John Cassey (1891?-1921?) miner and trade union official

Birth: Probably the John Cassey born on 13 September 1868 at Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, Scotland, son of Peter Cassey (1830-1873), coal miner, and Mary, née Arbuckle (1933-1911). Marriage: 16 May 1891 in the Registrar’s Office at Newcastle, New South Wales, to Rachel Natelia Curtis (1874-1936), born at Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire, England. They had four daughters and eight sons. Death: 25 July 1921 at Wooroloo Sanatorium, Wooroloo, Western Australia. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • When his father, in receipt of relief, died of phthisis pulmonalis, at the age of 43 and his partially disabled widow applied for further relief, John was aged 4. Two sisters migrated to New Zealand. In 1881 John was a scholar living with his mother, three siblings, a nephew and a niece in Dalziel, Motherwell. He came to New South Wales in the following decade and was working as a miner at Newcastle in 1891.
  • Spent two years at Lithgow, NSW, and had arrived at Korumburra, Victoria, by 1897. At presentation to Anthony Garrett in July that year at Jumbunna “gave a capital solo on two whistles”.
  • Activist in Victorian Coal Miners' Association, holding various positions in both VCMA & Jumbunna lodge between 1897 & 1904. In 1902 was Jumbunna representative on VCMA.
  • 1903 unsuccessful candidate for VCMA presidency; treasurer of VCMA prior to its disbandment in 1904; district representative at time Victorian coal strike called off in 1904.
  • Left district for Western Australia just prior to VCMA's disbandment.
  • Cause of death: pulmonary tuberculosis.

Great Southern Advocate
; Korumburra Times; Outtrim News; Tocsin; P. D. Gardner, Too old to rat: the radical miners of South Gippsland 1893-1904 (Ensay, Victoria, 1994).

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Citation details

Peter D. Gardner, 'Casey, John (1868–1921)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


13 September, 1868
Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, Scotland


25 July, 1921 (aged 52)
Wooroloo, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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