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William Glave Jeffery (1880–?)

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William Glave Jeffery, also known as Jeffrey (1880?-?) shearer’s cook, marine diver and Socialist propagandist 

Birth: possibly on 6 February 1880 at Womwell, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, son of Joseph Patrick O’Brien Jeffery (b. about 1849), miner, later hotel keeper, and Mary, née Grave, Higginbottom or Connelly (1850-1887). Marriage: 20 June 1919 at the District Registrar’s Office, Newcastle, New South Wales, to native-born Florence Lucy Walsh (1880-1944), of Irish ancestry. Death: details unknown. 

  • He was possibly the William Glave Jeffery who was baptized at Pitt street Wesleyan chapel, Barnsley, and attended Huntsman Gardens board school at Aftercliffe. His father had remarried after the death of William’s mother, and the boy “absconded from home on many occasions . . . and kept the company of young thieves”.
  • In August 1891 a William Glave Jeffery was convicted of stealing a watch in Sheffield and was punished with six strokes of a birch rod. Charged with a similar offence the following month, he was sentenced to 21 days in a house of correction and five years to a reformatory school. Aged 11 the boy was admitted to Calder Farm Reformatory school on 13 October 1891. In 1901 he was no longer living with his family at Sheffield.
  • He may have been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World in California, United States of America, prior to arriving in Australia (reputedly aboard the Ormuz on 1 May 1908). He became active in the Socialist Labor Party (SLP) in Australia in 1910.
  • Undertook organising work and propaganda activity while working as a shearers’ cook and drover in western NSW and Queensland during 1910-11. Later made a bicycle tour of the outback, covering 1200 miles, propagandising, selling literature and collecting subscription for the People.
  • Undertook three international trips working aboard various ships in 1911, 1913 and 1915, promulgating socialism and promoting the SLP in every town and city. Met SLP and IWW luminaries in Sheffield and Seattle (1911), New York and Detroit (1913). Also met SLP leader Daniel De Leon and Arnold Petersen, National Secretary of the SLP in the United States, and maintained a long-term correspondence with the latter.
  • Elected secretary-treasurer of the De Leonist Workers' International Industrial Union in February 1918. Leader of dissident group which formed a Branch of the SLP in Balmain, Sydney, in 1920. He was opposed to E. E. Judd’s alleged infringement of De Leonist principles and specifically Judd’s advocacy of One Big Union over the WIIU, and his role in the merger of the SLP and ISLP.
  • Gave his age as 48, his occupation as “marine diver” and his residence as Gibbs Street Newtown, Sydney, on his marriage registration in June 1919.
  • Jeffery and the Balmain branch were expelled from SLP at Judd’s instigation in 1921. Jeffery subsequently joined the Communist Party of Australia.
  • Was an independent candidate for the NSW Legislative Assembly seat of Newcastle in 1922. In 1930 and 1936 he was a fireman living with Florence at Hamilton, Newcastle, NSW. Florence remained there in 1937 and 1943 but nothing further is currently known about her husband.

Sources
R. Sharpe MA thesis, 2003.

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Citation details

'Jeffery, William Glave (1880–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/jeffery-william-glave-34121/text42791, accessed 1 March 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Jeffrey, William Glave
Birth

6 February, 1880
Barnsley, Yorkshire, England

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.

Passenger Ship
Occupation
Political Activism