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William Barr (Will) Craig (1875–1934)

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William Barr (Will) Craig, wrote as ‘Walter Greig’ (1876-1934) journalist, author and Labor activist 

Birth: 1875 at Paisley, Renfrewshire Scotland, son of John Craig (1848-1923), engine fitter later power loom weaver, and Elizabeth, née Barr. Marriages: (1) 18 July 1903 in Wellington, New Zealand, to Lottie Lizzie Shrimpton (1870-1952). They had two daughters and two sons. (2) 12 October 1912 at Adelaide, South Australia, to Gertrude Genevieve ‘Jean’ Carter. They had three sons and five daughters. Death: 20 February 1934 in Melbourne hospital. 

  • In 1891 census, aged 15, he is described as an apprenticed flesher [tannery worker] living at Pollokshaws, Renfrew, Scotland.
  • To New Zealand where he worked on the New Zealand Times and edited the Maoriland Worker.
  • To Australia about 1912 where he worked for Stead’s Review, Hobart Mercury, Albury Border Mail and was a valued contributor to Labor Call. In Albury he established a literary magazine which failed.
  • Author of No More Poverty and won many literary prizes. ‘Did much to lift the standard of Labor literature’. Established Labor School of Literature with complete correspondence course.
  • Because of financial perils of freelance journalism he was forced to work as a labourer. According to obituary wielding a pick and shovel was too much for a middle-aged man, ‘…whatever the medical certificate may say (Craig)…was murdered-killed by the Capitalistic system’.
  • Wrote many columns under the name “Walter Greig”.
  • Cause of death: lung cancer.
  • Five children served in World War II: John Shrimpton Craig (1909-1984, a labourer, served in the New Zealand Army; William Walter (Bill) Craig (1913-2004), a brass tester, served in the special forces in New Guinea; Michael Carter (Mick) Craig (1922-2018), a plant operator; Norman Dunbar Craig (1927-2012); and Vera June Craig, later Howarth (1921-2007), who served as a cook in the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force.

Labor Call
(Melbourne), 22 February 1934, p 12, 1 March 1934.

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Citation details

'Craig, William Barr (Will) (1875–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Greig, Walter

Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland


20 February, 1934 (aged ~ 59)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lung)

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.