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Henry Charles Cleeland (1877–1953)

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Henry Cleeland, n.d.

Henry Cleeland, n.d.

Henry Charles Theodore Cleeland, also known as Henry Cleland (1877-1953) miner, carpenter, trade union leader and mayor 

Birth: 26 November 1877 at Epping, Victoria, eleventh of fifteen children of Francis Moore Cleeland (c.18431-1923), farmer, later a grazier in Gippsland, born in Ireland, and native-born Sarah Jane, née Moore (1845-1910). Marriage: 1906 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Catherine Alice Foreman (1883-1955), born in South Australia. They had one daughter. Death: 17 October 1953 in district hospital, Broken Hill. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Brought up in a farming community in Victoria. Served as a corporal and sometime sergeant in the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles in South Africa during the Boer War.
  • To Western Australia in January 1902 for six months.
  • To Broken Hill, NSW, in June 1902. Worked as a miner at South Mine for six months until water famine causing the line of lode to cease operation. Work at the mines resumed in the latter half of 1903 and he gained employment at the British mine where he was able to follow his trade of carpenter and continued intermittently for 26 years.
  • Served in World War I. Was a member of the Returned Soldiers’ League.
  • Member of the Carpenters and Joiners' Society, president and delegate to various conferences and bodies including the Barrier District Assembly of the Australian Labor Party, of which he was sometime vice-president and acting secretary. Sworn in as justice of the peace in December 1925.
  • Elected as Labor alderman on Broken Hill Municipal Council in August 1927. Re-elected in succeeding elections until 1933 at least. Elected mayor in December 1931, receiving an annual allowance of £480. Chairman of the Jubilee Celebrations in 1933. Was defeated in Labor preselection for mayoral candidature in 1933, 1934 and 1935, in 1937 and 1938 by George Lambert, and in 1939 on Lambert’s death.
  • He retired as councillor in December 1944 but remained active in the ALP and in 1947 again contested preselection for council. In 1948 he contested the preselection ballot for representative to the Water Board.
  • In later years worked for Haunstrups Ltd, retiring in 1951. Was a member of the Loyal United Brothers lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
  • Cause of death: broncho pneumonia and cancer of the gall bladder.

Daily Truth (Broken Hill), 5 September 1933.

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Citation details

'Cleeland, Henry Charles (1877–1953)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Henry Cleeland, n.d.

Henry Cleeland, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Cleland, Henry Charles

26 November, 1877
Epping, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


17 October, 1953 (aged 75)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (gallbladder)

Cultural Heritage

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