People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Thomas (Tom) Coe (1908–1977)

This article was published:

Thomas (Tom) Coe (1908- 1977) textile worker and trade union leader 

Birth: 1908 at Byker, Bolton, England, son of Robert Coe, labourer, later textile worker, and Mary Jane, née Ross. Marriage: 11 July 1932 in All Saints’ Church (Anglican), Preston, Victoria, to Ivy May Watson (1915-1978). They had three daughters and one son. Death: 17 November 1977 at Moorabbin hospital, Bentleigh, Victoria. 

  • Was a farm labourer in England. Arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia, aboard the Jervis Bay on 28 November 1929. Moved to Victoria where he worked as a labourer. By 1934 was a textile worker living at Coburg, Melbourne.
  • Joined Textile Workers Union in December in 1940. Was a union official for 22 years. Vice president (Melbourne Division) 1944/45?, president 1946/7?; vice-president (Victorian branch) 1947; president (Victorian Branch) 1948/9?; State organiser 1947-1950; State secretary 1950-1969; State management committee 1941-50.
  • Australian Labor Party delegate 1942-69. Trades Hall Council delegate 1942-65; Executive member, Melbourne Trades Hall Council 1958/59?.
  • Trustee Victorian and Melbourne union branches for many years. ALP executive 1955-60. Federal Council delegate 1957-69. Federal management committee delegate 1959-69.
  • International Labour Organization Delegate. Australian Council of Trades Unions delegate.
  • Retired from union in 1969.

Textile Topics
, February 1978.

Citation details

'Coe, Thomas (Tom) (1908–1977)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Byker, Tyne and Wear, England


17 November, 1977 (aged ~ 69)
Moorabbin, Melbourne, Victoria, 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.

Passenger Ship
Key Organisations
Political Activism