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Walter Henry Frater (1889–1959)

This article was published:

William Frater, n.d.

William Frater, n.d.

Walter Henry Frater (1889-1959) shearer, farmer, Communist and shire councillor 

Birth: 7 April 1889 at Toowoomba, Queensland, son of native-born parents Alexander Douglas (Doc) Frater (1859-1931), farmer, and his second wife Sarah, née Glover (1864-1915). Marriages: (1) 15 December 1910 at St Andrews’s manse, Tamworth, New South Wales, to Sarah Laura Newman. They had two daughters and five sons. The marriage ended in divorce. (2) 1950 at Sydney, NSW, to Martha Mary Rivett (d. 1979). Death: 8 May 1959 in his residence at Binnaway, near Coonabarabran, NSW. 

  • Shearer active in defense of, and improvement in wages and conditions in early 1920s. Later moved into farming at ‘Glendower’, Binnaway, near Narrabri.
  • Active member of Australian Workers’ Union rank and file movement for democratic and militant trade unionism. Secretary of the Binnaway branch of the Australian Labor Party in 1928.
  • Joined Communist Party in late 1920s and remained for 32 years. New Guard threatened him and others, including William Thompson, to leave Binnaway, but he gained support of workers and stayed.
  • Alderman, Municipality of Narrabri, from 1922 until he resigned in January 1925. Was councillor on Coonabarrabran Shire Council in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Killed by an overturned tractor while working on his Binnaway farm.

(Sydney), 20 May 1959, p 10.

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'Frater, Walter Henry (1889–1959)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 February 2024.

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