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Frederick John (Fred) Elson (1883–1962)

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Frederick John (Fred of ‘Jumbo’) Elson (1883-1962) check weighman, trade union official 

Birth: 1883 at Hafod, Glamorgan, Wales, son of Arthur Elson (b.1853), miner, and Elizabeth, née Buckley (b.1853). Marriage: 15 September 1943 at Brisbane, Queensland, to Ellen Evans. Death: 25 May 1962 in hospital at Ipswich, Queensland. Religion: United Welsh Church. 

  • Began mining in Wales. Was a coalminer at Porth, Rhondda, Glamorgan, in 1911. Migrated to Queensland about 1912.
  • In 1916 gained exemption from military service on the ground that he was the only one of four brothers who had not been on military service. One was killed in action, another invalided home.
  • Secretary and check weighman for many years of Aberdare Extended branch, Queensland Colliery Employees' Union [QCEU]. Delegate to Miners' Federation's first national convention (1925) and subsequent conventions.
  • Member Queensland Committee of Management of Miners' Federation. Member Federation's Central Council until 1942 (retired). QCEU treasurer 1942 (retired).
  • Member Ipswich Ambulance Brigade for about 30 years. Three years a councillor of the Moreton Shire, in 1949 stood as an independent candidate for Greater Ipswich City Council. Generally known as ‘Jumbo’.
  • Member of the Booval Bowling Club.
  • Cause of death: inanition and respiratory insufficiency, carcinoma of lung and chronic bronchitis and renal tract infection.

Pete Thomas, The coalminers of Queensland: a narrative history of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union. Volume 1 Creating the traditions (Ipswich, 1986).

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Elson, Frederick John (Fred) (1883–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Hafod, Glamorgan, Wales


25 May, 1962 (aged ~ 79)
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lung)

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