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William Joseph Jeffrey (1852–1925)

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Jeffrey, William Joseph (1852-1925) carpenter, carter and trade union official 

Birth: 9 October 1852 at Hobart, Tasmania, son of Tasmanian-born Robert Alexander Jeffrey, shipwright, and his first wife Catherine, née Grady (1828-1896), born in Ireland. Marriage: 28 May 1882 in St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Hobart, to Mary Bridget Oakford (1858-1952), a Tasmanian-born servant. They had four daughters and four sons. Death: 5 April 1925 at Hobart. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Worked as a carpenter and as a carter; was also described as a “parcel delivery proprietor”.
  • Tasmanian delegate to Australian Labor Congress in 1889. Prominent officer of the original Trades and Labor Council, Hobart.
  • Reportedly worked in every Eight Hours demonstration held in Hobart to 1924. Prominent figure in Maritime Strike of 1890 and in Carters and Drivers’ strike in August 1910.
  • His brother James Bernard Jeffrey (1847-1914), a shipwright and an inspector of bridges, was also an active figure in the early history of the Labour movement in Tasmania.
  • William’s son Sergeant William Oakford Jeffrey (1888-1918), a telegraph linesman, enlisted in the Australian Imperial force on 14 February 1916. Awarded the Military Medal on 16 November 1917, he was wounded in action fighting with the 13th Field Artillery Brigade on the Somme and died of his wounds on 10 August 1918. In October 1918 he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

Westralian Worker
, 1 May 1925 p 11.

Citation details

'Jeffrey, William Joseph (1852–1925)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 1 March 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


9 October, 1852
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


5 April, 1925 (aged 72)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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