People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Gray, Archibald (1858–1940)

by Chris Cunneen

Archibald Gray (1858-1940) coal miner, gaoled trade unionist, store-keeper, shire councillor

Birth: 17 May 1858 at Waterside, near Dalmellington, in Ayrshire, Scotland, son of Archibald Gray, collier, and Helen Hamilton, née McKay. Marriage: 1886 in Newcastle, New South Wales, to native-born Amelia Sexton (1861-1935). They had three daughters and three sons. Death: 15 October 1940 at West Wallsend, Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican.

  • Went to work in Scottish mines at the age of 10.
  • Later migrated to South Africa where he enlisted in mounted police.
  • Arrived in Australia from South Africa in the Northern Monarch in September 1882 and was employed as a platelayer on the Dubbo-Bourke railway line. Worked in Lithgow Valley shale mines where he helped form an early trade union. His parents and other family members followed him to Australia in 1884.
  • From 1883 to 1886 Gray worked as a miner in Brown’s colliery at Minmi then went to Bullock Island (Wickham) colliery, Newcastle, where he was a miners’ delegate, before moving to Hetton colliery at Carrington. Here he was a sitting delegate at the time of the great strike of 1888.
  • He was member of the eight hours committee when riots at New Lambton broke out in which Alfred Edden was arrested.
  • Left mining industry and shifted to West Wallsend. Apart from a time in Kalgoorlie after the gold rush, he remained here for the rest of his life. He opened a general store, was elected councillor for the shire and was a long-time member of the West Wallsend Masonic Lodge (Lodge St Andrew).
  • Attempted to enlist in World War I but was rejected.
  • He also acquired 300 acres of farming and grazing land on the Dorrigo River.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Gray, Archibald (1858–1940)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/gray-archibald-32135/text39708, accessed 20 October 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012