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Thompson Green (1861–1945)

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Thompson Green (1861-1945) boilermaker, inspector of bridges, trade union official, mayor  and parliamentarian

Birth: 26 January 1861 at Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, son of David Green. Mother’s name unknown. Marriages (1) about 1882 probably in Glasgow to Margaret Kelly (1865-1918). They had four sons and two daughters. (2) 26 October 1929 at Hindmarsh, Adelaide, South Australia, to a widow, Margaret Jane, late Morris, née Martindale (1870-1944), born at Manchester, England. Death: 1 July 1945 at Erindale, SA. Religion: Congregational. 

  • Educated at state schools. Apprenticed as a boilermaker.
  • Arrived in New South Wales in 1886 and worked at his trade in Sydney for some years.
  • Arrived in South Australia in 1891, employed as a boilermaker at Islington workshops from 1895 to 1910.
  • Secretary SA Boilermakers society for 20 years. President Federated Boilermakers’ Society. President SA Trades and Labour Council; president Eight-Hour Committee, chair of Trades Hall Managing Committee and Trustee of Trades Hall;
  • Mayor of Thebarton from 1914 to 1916.
  • Member of the House of Assembly for Port Adelaide from 2 April 1910 to 1915 and for West Torrens from 1915 to 1918. Australian Labor Party member until 1917. Left during conscription crisis. Nationalist thereafter. Lost his seat to Labor on 1 April 1918.
  • Two sons of his first marriage — Henry Thompson Green (1894-1934), a compositor, and William Allan McInnes Green (1896-1972), a draughtsman and surveyor — served in France with the Australia Imperial Force; both were wounded in action.
  • Controversially appointed inspector of bridgework for railways in September 1918.
  • ALP councillor for Thebarton 1929.
  • Cause of death, carcinoma of bladder.
  • His first wife, mayoress of Thebarton in 1914-1916, was an earnest worker for philanthropic and patriotic movements there.
  • His second wife, who “had largely devoted her life to public service . . . was an indefatigable worker for all philanthropic and religious movements in the town”.

Howard Coxon, John Playford and Gordon Reid, Biographical Register of the South Australian Parliament 1857-1957 (Adelaide, 1985); T. H. Smeaton, The People in Politics (Adelaide, 1914).

Citation details

'Green, Thompson (1861–1945)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


26 January, 1861
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland


1 July, 1945 (aged 84)
Erindale, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (bladder)

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism