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George Gaunt (1898–1976)

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George Gaunt  (1898-1976) clerk, public servant, trade union official 

Birth: 21 August 1898 at Guildford, Western Australia, eldest son of native-born George John Gaunt (1871-1941), builder, and Martha, née Stedman (1878-1924).  Marriages: (1) 2 February 1936 at Northam, WA, to Katherine F (Kit) Brooks (1904-1992). They had one daughter and two sons. The marriage ended in divorce. (2) 31 July 1948 at Singapore, to Elizabeth Ann Kong. Death: 11 March 1976 in hospital at Perth; usual address Northcote Street, Chidlow. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated at Bayswater State School. Joined the Commonwealth public service and spent sixteen years in the accounts branch of the General Post Office in Perth.
  • Was secretary of Nedlands branch of the Australian Labor Party.
  • In June 1927 was appointed general secretary of Western Australian Police Union of Workers and editor of Police News.
  • State Secretary of Federated Public Service Assistants’ Association for 6½ years, vice president of federal executive three years, General President three years and State President for 2½ years. Interstate conference delegate and divisional representative on Federal Public Service Appeal Board.
  • Delegate to One Big Public Service Union and secretary, which brought about amalgamation of several public service unions and recommended public servants to vote Labor.
  • Unsuccessful candidate for Labor pre-selection for Canning electorate in the WA Legislative Assembly in May 1929. Was a selected Labor candidate for a Federal Senate seat in January 1932. In February 1933 he was endorsed Country Party candidate for State seat of Middle Swan. He had nominated for the Country Party because it was “uncompromisingly a Secessionist party”. In June 1936 he was reported to have nominated to be Country Party candidate for the Federal Senate.
  • Held a diploma of fellowship of the British Association of Secretaries. Was a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain and took “an active part in agricultural and horticultural work”. A keen supporter of States rights he advocated an affirmative vote for the secession referendum.
  • In 1938 he resigned from position as union secretary and moved to Singapore, Malaya. On the Malayan Censorship Staff during World War II, he was interned by the Japanese. Released after the war he convalesced in WA then returned to Malaya and joined the Malayan Federal Custodian staff. He returned to WA with his 5-year old son in November 1953.
  • In August 1954 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Mullewa Road Board.
  • Cause of death: pulmonary oedema, congestive cardiac failure and carcinoma of lung.

Westralian Worker, 22 May 1931.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Gaunt, George (1898–1976)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


21 August, 1898
Guildford, Perth, Western Australia, Australia


11 March, 1976 (aged 77)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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
Key Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism