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William Henry Greenhalgh (1854–1924)

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William Henry Greenhalgh (1854-1924) engineer and trade union official 

Birth: January 1854 at Bolton, Lancashire, England, son of Jonathon Whitehead Greenhalgh (c.1831-1906), cotton sampler and warehouseman, and Mary, née Whitehead (c.1833-1908)). Marriage: 4 October 1876 at Adelaide, South Australia to native-born Evelyn Moore Simpson (1859-1944) They had four daughters and three sons. Death: 10 May 1924 at the Coast Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales; late of Dorking Road, Cabarita. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Educated and apprenticed to uncle, Robert Whitehead, inventor of the Torpedo. Served with English Navy.
  • To Australia in 1875, worked in engineering workshops in South Australia, and then in Broken Hill, NSW. Involved in 1890 miners’ strike as treasurer, Miners’ Defence Fund.
  • Union delegate to mine companies’ headquarters, Melbourne 1892. Though foreman, he was blacklisted by mine owners for activism. Blacklist forced him to look for work in Sydney.
  • Contracted to New South Wales government, Clyde engineering works, Mort’s Dock, Cobar. Inheriting some of his uncle’s considerable fortune he returned to England.
  • Came back to Australia and worked as engineer in several Western Australian mines, then returned to NSW, where he worked at Cockatoo.
  • In the final eight years of his life worked for the Australian Gas Light Company at Mortlake.

photo and obituary, Labor Daily (Sydney), 13 May 1924, p 8:

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Citation details

'Greenhalgh, William Henry (1854–1924)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


January, 1854
Bolton, Lancashire, England


10 May, 1924 (aged 70)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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