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Walter Patrick (Wally) Evans (1889–1949)

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Walter Patrick (Wally) Evans (1889-1949) farmer, political organiser, Communist 

Birth: November 1889 in Burrowa, New South Wales, son of native-born William Patrick Evans (1889-1949), labourer later farmer, and Bridget, née Ticehurst. Marriage: (1) 9 April 1914 at the District Registrar’s office, Randwick, Sydney, to Lilly Eugenia Reeves (1879-1963), a tailoress, born in Yorkshire, England. They had two daughters and a son and appear to have separated in the 1920s. (2) From at least 1930 he was living with Stella Victoria Walter. Death: 6 August 1949 at Marrickville, Sydney. 

  • Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 27 April 1916 giving his occupation as chef. Served on the Western Front with the 19th Battalion from August 1917 and was wounded in action — gunshots to both legs, in particular the left knee — on 18 September. Returned to Australia and was discharged in April 1918. Received a war incapacity pension.
  • Member, Executive, Australian Labor Party, NSW Branch, from 1932 and member of left-wing of party. Leader of anti-Lang forces.
  • By 1937 was undercover member of Communist Party of Australia. Proponent and perpetrator of CPA’s dual-track strategy of working within and outside the Australian Labor Party.
  • Following Unity Conference 1939, was elected general secretary of NSW branch of the Labor Party, 1939-40.
  • Secretary of the State Labor [known as the Hughes-Evans] Party from 1940 to 1941, which amalgamated with CPA in 1944.
  • CPA candidate in 1946 Federal elections, promoting himself for the seat of Robertson as ‘experienced farmer’ who would ‘build the unity of farmers and workers which is the hope of Australia’s future’.
  • Cause of death: coronary occlusion and angina pectoris.

McKnight, 2002; Stuart Macintyre, The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia from origins to illegality (Sydney, 1998); Malcolm Henry Ellis, The Garden path (Sydney, 1949); John Playford, Doctrinal and strategic problems of the Communist Party of Australia, 1945-1962, PhD thesis, ANU, 1962; Tribune (Sydney), 12 February 1946, p 8 [photo & profile,]

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Citation details

'Evans, Walter Patrick (Wally) (1889–1949)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


November, 1889
Burrowa, New South Wales, Australia


6 August, 1949 (aged 59)
Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Military Service
Political Activism