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Susan Adelaide Casson (1871–1952)

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Susan Adelaide Casson, née Holmes (1871-1952) trade union leader, community activist 

Birth: 28 December 1871, Kings Ballycollin, Geashill, Ireland, daughter of William Nassau Holmes (1838-1919), businessman, formerly quartermaster in the British Army who served in Afghanistan in 1878-1880, and Maria Susan, née Geashill [or Ardagh] (1839-1913). Marriage: 14 January 1897 at Perth, Western Australia, to Edgar Harold Jefferies Casson, railway unionist. They had one daughter and five sons, two of whom died in infancy. Death: 23 April 1952 at Applecross, Perth, WA. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Migrated from Ireland as young girl, placed into orphanage. Educated at Brighton, Victoria.
  • In 1917 first female organiser for the Australian Labor Party in Perth, WA, after appointment as Labor Queen, Perth, in 1916.
  • Active in recruiting for whiteworkers, furniture workers, photographic and laundry workers' unions. 1918-1920 secretary of Female Printing Workers' Union.
  • Appointed justice of the peace for the Perth magisterial district in June 1920.
  • Retained membership of ALP but after 1920 was active in Mental Hospital Aftercare and Comfort Fund Association, the first of its kind in WA, as well as the Ugly Men's Voluntary Workers' Association of WA.
  • Appointed MBE in January 1948.

Lenore Layman and Julian Goddard, Organise: a visual record of the labour movement in Western Australia (Perth, 1988); Battye Library, ALP records, ACC 1101 file 17/1919.

Citation details

'Casson, Susan Adelaide (1871–1952)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Holmes, Susan Adelaide

28 December, 1871
Geashill, Offaly, Ireland


23 April, 1952 (aged 80)
Applecross, Perth, Western Australia, 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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism