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Samuel (Sam) Graham (1898–1988)

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Graham, Samuel (Sam) (1898-1988) coal miner, Communist and trade union official 

Birth: 1898 at Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland, son of Samuel Graham (1862-1922), coal miner, and Elizabeth, née Craig (1867-1901). Marriage: 4 July 1930 at the Manse, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, to Annie Bryden Brown (1911-1993), born at Drongan, Ayrshire, Scotland. They had one daughter. Death: 2 May 1988 in hospital at Kempsey, NSW; usual residence Crescent Head.  

  • Commenced work as a coal miner, Ayrshire, Scotland, aged 14. Worked at four coalmines in region before immigrating to Australia in 1922.
  • Worked at Richmond Main, Hunter Valley, as shot firer in 1927 and retired from same job in 1957.
  • Following 1929 lockout, was unemployed for five years during Depression.
  • Joined Communist Party of Australia. Jailed for non-disclosure of working details and participated in anti-eviction struggles, Kurri Kurri.
  • Worked in New Zealand, as miner, for two years.
  • Upon return to Richmond Main became secretary of largest lodge and leading activist of Northern District branch of Miners’ Federation.
  • One of the founders of Kurri Kurri Workers’ Club. Active in retirement as Kurri representative of Retired Mineworkers Association’s Northern District Delegate Board.
  • Retired to Kempsey, Cause of death: acute heart failure, ischaemic heart disease and alzheimers disease.
  • Brother of miner and poet John (Jock) Graham.

Common Cause
, 14 December 1957, 29 June 1977; information from Edgar Ross, 1991.

Additional Resources

  • retires, Tribune (Sydney), 26 March 1958, p 8

Citation details

'Graham, Samuel (Sam) (1898–1988)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland


2 May, 1988 (aged ~ 90)
Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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