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William Arthur Douglas (1901–1962)

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William Arthur (Bill) Douglas (1901-1962) motor driver, trade unionist 

Birth: 8 February 1901 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, eldest child of native-born parents Archibald William Douglas (1880-1936), miner, and Alma Victoria, née Rook (1884-1917). Marriage: 27 June 1928 at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Adelaide, South Australia, to Hanora O’Sullivan (1901-1998), teacher, born at Cahirdaha, County Cork, Ireland.  They had one daughter and four sons. Death: 27 July 1962 in hospital at Parramatta, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Started work shovelling lead and zinc for Broken Hill mines at age of 13 to support family of six, Father served with the Australian Imperial Force in WWI.
  • Later employed on mines as member of the Federated Engine Drivers’ and Firemen’s Association of Australasia (FED&FA). Prevented non-union labour from working during the 1919-1920 strike by drawing the fires from the donkey boilers driving the winders to lower men underground. Motor driver on south mine for several years.
  • Active in FED&FA and Australian Labor Party. Active in unemployed movement during 1930s. He and his wife were opposed to Franco forces during Spanish civil war.
  • To Seven Hills [Toongabbie], Sydney, about 1952. Soon after move was involved in train accident where he lost an arm and later also suffered ill-health.

Cause, 4 August 1962 p 4.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Douglas, William Arthur (1901–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


8 February, 1901
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia


27 July, 1962 (aged 61)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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