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Bartley Bartholomew (Brady) Deveney (1875–1939)

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Bartley Bartholomew ('Brady') Deveney (1875-1939) railway motorman and trade union official 

Birth: 1875 at Geelong, Victoria, son of Irish-born parents John Deveney (1836-1890), a labourer, from Dungannon, Tyrone, and Ann, née Street (1838-1913), from Dungarvon, Waterford. Marriage: 7 September 1897 at Carlton, Melbourne, to native-born Catherine May Bryce (1872-1938). They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 4 April 1939 at Melbourne; usual residence, Wolseley Parade, Kensington. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Joined Victorian Railways Loco-Running Branch in October 1901 as an engine cleaner. Actively involved in 1903 strike at Benalla. Transferred to permanent way/Newport workshops.
  • In 1905, as cleaner, was elected to executive of Victorian division of Locomotive Enginemen union. Worked as a fireman, steam-engine driver and electric train driver until his death. On 20 April 1908 he was fireman on one of the trains involved in the Sunshine train collision when 44 people were killed and over 400 injured.
  • Elected vice-president of Australian Federation of Locomotive Engineers in 1916. In 1917 he filled in as president following a reshuffle of personnel, was twice re-elected and involved with union until 1939. Trusteee of the union from 1911 to 1939. Senior trustee 1927-1939.
  • Successes included restoration of margins to electric train drivers. Union delegate to Australian Labor Party State Electorate Council/Federal Electorate Council and to Melbourne Trades Hall Council.
  • Was elected to Melbourne City Council on 7 November 1919. Became an alderman in 1921 and continued in office until his death. Held many municipal posts, was Commissioner of the Board of Works, chairman of the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve committee and on the committees of the free libraries at North Melbourne and Flemington, and the Flemington Domestic Arts School.
  • Appointed justice of the peace at Kensington in December 1924. Commissioner of Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. A ‘loyal comrade of the foot-plate’. Parishioner of the Holy Rosary parish, Kensington.
  • Collapsed and died at Melbourne Town Hall. Cause of death: myocardial degeneration and chronic nephritis. His friend Arthur Calwell was elected to fill the vacancy. The Alderman Deveney technical scholarship was one of various memorials named for him.

The Locomotive Journal
, 11 May, 12 October 1939.

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Citation details

'Deveney, Bartley Bartholomew (Brady) (1875–1939)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Bartley Deveney, n.d.

Bartley Deveney, n.d.

Age (Melbourne), 5 April 1939, p 12

Life Summary [details]


Geelong, Victoria, Australia


4 April, 1939 (aged ~ 64)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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