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George Francis Gough (1892–1963)

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George Francis Gough (1892-1963)  seaman, miner, engine-driver, trade union official, alderman, hospital secretary and shark fisherman 

Birth: 23 February 1892 at Epping, Essex, England, son of George Gough (1859-1903), licensed victualler, and Emma Sarah, née Bowry (1871-1917), who remarried in 1916. Marriage: 1915 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Marie Isabella (Daisy) Hall (1895-1964), born in Broken Hill. They had six daughters (one of whom died in childhood) and one son. Death: 23 November 1963 at Broken Hill. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Aged 14 was an apprentice in United Kingdom merchant navy, indentured to the King Line Limited from 15 May 1906 to 1909.
  • At sea for five years. To outback Australia. To Broken Hill, NSW, in 1912. Worked as an underground miner. Joined Amalgamated Miners’ Association.
  • Joined Federated Enginedrivers' and Firemen's Association Broken Hill sub-branch about 1914. Vice-president and auditor FED&FA and president during strike of 1920-21; later secretary up to 1926 at least.
  • Secretary Barrier branch of FED&FA. Federal Councillor and Senior vice-president of the Federal Executive of the FED&FA in 1926. Represented FED&FA on Barrier Industrial Council and Barrier District Assembly of ALP. Elected federal president of the FED&FA in March 1927. Delegate to Australian Council of Trade Unions conference in Melbourne in February 1930.
  • Executive member Barrier Industrial Council. An active member of the Trades Hall Trust Boxing Committee, he was long-time chairman of the Silver City Swimming Club.
  • Appointed Justice of the Peace in December 1923. From 1925 to 1929 he was an alderman on the city council.
  • Previously a member of the board of management of the Broken Hill Hospital, in May 1933 he relinquished his union positions and was appointed secretary manager of the Broken Hill hospital.
  • Among other positions held, Gough was president of the High School Parents and Citizens committee and a committee-member of the Police and Citizens’ Boys’ Club. He was, as well, secretary of the Court Victoria lodge of the Ancient Order of Foresters, of which he was also a trustee and chief ranger for the western district, and and a member of the Navalmen's Association and of Broken Hill Masonic Lodge No. 199.
  • In February 1945 he resigned from the hospital and moved with his wife to Robe, South Australia, where he took up a partnership in a shark-fishing and cray-fishing business. “I still feel the urge to go back to the sea” he said.
  • He was secretary of the Robe Fishermen’s Association in 1946. Appointed justice of the peace in November that year, he was a councillor on Robe District Council from 1947 to at least 1955, and council chairman in 1953-1954. He was a member of the board of the Kingston soldiers’ memorial hospital until he resigned in poor health in December 1954.
  • He was the father of June Bronhill, née Gough (his youngest daughter). She recalled that he had a "lovely natural light tone singing voice "and was an enthusiastic piano player. They enjoyed singalongs at night.
  • Cause of death: cerebal thrombosis, arterio sclerosis and diabetes mellitus.
  • His son John (1917-2000), a librarian who lived at Broken Hill, served in the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II.

Daily Truth (Broken Hill (NSW), 17 December 1926; Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 24 November 1963; Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW), 24 November 1963.

Additional Resources

  • interview, Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 23 September 1947, p 6

Citation details

'Gough, George Francis (1892–1963)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

George Gough, 1947

George Gough, 1947

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 23 September 1947, p 6

Life Summary [details]


23 February, 1892
Epping, Essex, England


23 November, 1963 (aged 71)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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