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William Alfred Clementson (1884–1982)

This article was published:

William Clementson. n.d.

William Clementson. n.d.

William Alfred Clementson (1884-1982) pastoral worker, tram driver, trade union leader and politician 

Birth: 19 July 1884 at Chippendale, Sydney, son of William Alfred Clementson (1842-1911), a vanman born in Alston, Cumberland, England, and his second wife Margaret Ann, née Shannon (1858-1951), a servant born in Doonogan, Mullagh, County Clare, Ireland. Marriage: 1911 at Waterloo, Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Catherine Tracey (1886-1950). They had two sons and two daughters. Death: 19 August 1982 at Mascot, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated to primary school level. Pastoral and agricultural worker for five years.
  • Joined tramways in 1909 and became tram driver, later transport foundation member of Australian Tramway Employees' Association in NSW. Depot collector and representative of Australian Tramway Employees' Association (ATEA). Victimised in the strike of 1917.
  • Executive member of ATEA, representing Waverley Depot 1912-29. Federal vice-president of ATEA. Life member in 1955. Vice-president, Australia Council. Delegate to Trades and Labor Council, inaugural meeting of Australian Council of Trade Unions and to Eight-Hour Committee.
  • Branch president and secretary of Australian Labor Party. Member central executive of the ALP 1927-29.
  • Labor member of the Legislative Assembly for Waverley from 25 October 1930 to 18 May 1932 (defeated and returned to tramway non-traffic section). Contested seat of Waverley for Labor in 1935 and 1938.
  • Transferred from Randwick North to Botany branch ALP in 1940. Delegate to State and Interstate conferences ALP.
  • Life member ALP NSW Branch 1980, nominated by Mascot branch.
  • Member of Railway Superannuation Board 1941-60 (did not seek re-election). Director of Eastern Suburbs Hospital.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt and Elizabeth Hinton Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Labor Year Book, 1933 p 168; ATMUEA NSW Branch, December 1961 p 11.

Citation details

'Clementson, William Alfred (1884–1982)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

William Clementson. n.d.

William Clementson. n.d.

Life Summary [details]


19 July, 1884
Chippendale, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


19 August, 1982 (aged 98)
Mascot, Sydney, New South Wales, 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