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Walter Hodsdon (1885–1956)

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Walter Hodsdon (1885-1956) machinist, trade union official, Labor activist and municipal councillor 

Birth: 13 December 1885 at West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, son of Edwin Hodsdon (1848-1923), publican and chairmaker, and Emma, née Way, formerly Phipps (1852-1911). Marriage: 28 August 1919 at Maylands, Western Australia, to Gertrude Elizabeth Humphrey (1894-1966), a housemaid, born at Ditton, Kent, England, who had embarked from London aboard the Orama on 30 January 1914 for Fremantle, WA. Death: 5 March 1956 in his usual residence at Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia. Religion: Anglican.

  • In 1901 Walter was working as a grocer’s errand porter at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He later served in the British Army. By 1911 he was a lance corporal in Meerut, India.
  • His younger brother Leonard (1889-1969), a labourer and French polisher, had migrated via Canada to Western Australia before World War I. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 2 February 1915, served with the 28th Battalion at Gallipoli, was wounded in action in France in August 1916, suffered trench fever in November 1917 and was discharged in Perth on 3 October 1919, by which time Walter arrived in Western Australia in about 1921.
  • Both brothers were members of the WA branch of the United (Federated) Furniture (Furnishing) Trades Union (Society) of Australasia, Walter was president of the union in 1923 and secretary from 1924 to 1939. He was succeeded by Matthew Grealy.
  • He was also a member of the Australian Labor Party executive and Councillor on Subiaco Municipal Council from 1933 to 1936. In April 1939, with John Curtin, Senator James Cunningham, Peter J. Mooney and others he was a member of the WA delegation to the Federal Conference of the Labor Party in Canberra.
  • Hodsdon gave long service to the Labour movement. Other positions he held included Industrial officer for the Australian Workers’ Union in the 1940s and Employees’ representative on the Workers Compensation Board from 1950 to 1954.
  • Cause of death: paralysis agitans (4 years).

Labor Year Book, 1934-1935, p 231.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Westralian Worker (Perth), 14 December 1928, p 16
  • photo, Westralian Worker (Perth), 28 April 1939, p 1

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Hodsdon, Walter (1885–1956)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Walter Hodsdon, 1939

Walter Hodsdon, 1939

Westralian Worker (Perth), 28 April 1939, p 1

Life Summary [details]


13 December, 1885
West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England


5 March, 1956 (aged 70)
Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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