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Robert George (Bob) Cram (1904–1949)

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Robert George (Bob) Cram (1904-1949) carpenter, journalist and Communist activist 

Birth 14 May 1904 at Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, son of native-born parents Edward George Cram (1875-1960), carpenter, and Rachel, née Adams (1882-1962). Marriage:, 1928 at Canterbury, Sydney, to Gladys Elspeth Gill (1910-1984), They had two daughters and six sons. Death: 16 May 1949 in his home at Belmont, Newcastle, NSW. Religion: Seventh Day Adventist.

  • Bob Cram moved to Sydney after completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter.
  • He joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1926 and in about 1928 he began working as a full time organiser for the party, initially in Sydney but from 1934 in Newcastle.
  • In 1940 he returned to his trade, because of ill-health, but maintained his party membership until his death from a brain tumour in 1949.
  • Cram became a public figure in Newcastle, narrowly missing election to the Newcastle City Council in 1938 and polling 22% of the vote for the state seat of Waratah in the 1938 election.
  • Thirty years a trade unionist, at his death he was president of the Building Workers’ Industrial Union of Australia, Newcastle district.
  • Cause of death: cancer of the brain.

Ross Edmonds, In Storm and Struggle. A History of the Communist Party in Newcastle 1920-1940 (1991).

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Citation details

'Cram, Robert George (Bob) (1904–1949)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


14 May, 1904
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


16 May, 1949 (aged 45)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (brain)

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