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William Henry Fulton (1874–1950)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

William Fulton, n.d.

William Fulton, n.d.

William Henry (‘Buff’) Fulton, also known as William Wallace Fulton (1874-1950) wharf labourer and trade union official

Birth: 9 April 1874 at Clarence Plains, Tasmania, son of James Fulton (1825-1884), a shoemaker born at Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and Christiana Elizabeth, née Robinson (1843-1914), whose place of birth is unknown. Marriage: 16 May 1910 at Queensborough, Hobart to Mary Ellen, née McGann, late Clayton (1880-1939), a widow born at Navan, County Meath Ireland, with three children. They had six sons and two daughters. Death: 27 May 1950 at Hobart. Was buried at Rokeby. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Was a distance runner of some repute in his early days.
  • Left Strahan, Tasmania, in 1907 to work in Hobart where he joined the Hobart branch of the Waterside Worker’s Federation (WWF). Was president of the branch from 1911 to 1931, and was sometime vice-president.
  • Was a delegate to the Hobart Trades Hall Council for many years and sometime president of the council. A pioneer of the Eight-Hour Day movement in Tasmania.
  • Once held a master’s certificate for river trading.
  • A life member of the Southern Tasmanian Axemen’s Association and a foundation member of the first rifle club formed in Hobart.
  • Was a handicapper for the Waterside Worker’s picnic committee for about 25 years.
  • Cause of death: congestive cardiac failure, coronary occlusion and arteriosclerosis.
  • One son Archie was also a WWF official. His youngest son Wallace Henry Fulton (1919-1994), a timber worker, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 3 June 1940 and served as a gunner, later a signaller, with the Royal Australian Artillery in the middle east and the South West Pacific area during World War II. Twice wounded in action, he was discharged on 18 December 1945.

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Fulton, William Henry (1874–1950)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 September 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

William Fulton, n.d.

William Fulton, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fulton, William Wallace

9 April, 1874
Clarence Plains, Tasmania, Australia


27 May, 1950 (aged 76)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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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