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Charles William (Bill) Jones (c. 1882–1958)

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Charles William (Bill) Jones (c.1882-1958?) butcher, trade union official, Communist and hotel keeper

Birth: about 1882 at Hillston, New South Wales, son of Robert Chestnut Jones (1849-1923), a hotelkeeper, born at Longford, Tasmania, and Annie Elizabeth, née Madden (1855-1890). Marriage: 13 May 1929 at the Methodist Manse, Cobalt Street, Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Beatrice Victoria Cicily Summers (b.1895), a cook, born at Terowie, South Australia. They had one daughter. Death: probably the Charles William Jones , former butcher, who died on 21 December 1958 at Malvern, usual residence Seventh Avenue, St Peters, Adelaide, South Australia.

  • His grandfather Charles Jones (1817-1888), born in Warwickshire, England, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land as a convict on 18 April 1841.
  • His parents married in Victoria and moved to Hillston NSW. About 1888 the family moved to Broken Hill, where his father ran various hotels. Bill reputedly joined the navy to evade conscription.
  • During his naval career he was involved in four mutinies which were not made known during war censorship.
  • Involved in four stoppages at Menindee in one morning on relief work being given to soldiers.
  • In 1923 he was employed at the Co-operative Butchery, Broken Hill, managed by his brother Robert. Was described as a butcher in electoral rolls from 1930 to 1937, and as a hotel keeper from 1943 to 1949.
  • President Town Employees' Union, Broken Hill, from 1931 to 1938 at least. Reputedly the first Communist in Australia to have been elected president of a trade union.
  • Admitted to hospital in a serious condition, suffering head injuries, after speaking publicly in Mildura, Victoria, in support of the Unemployed Workers’ Movement with Communist organiser, G. McGillick, Ted Tripp and others in 1931.
  • Member of Barrier Industrial Council in 1936 when he was arrested and charged with distributing a publication ‘The Plod’ organ of the Broken Hill section of the Communist party, without it containing an imprint required by law.
  • May have moved to Adelaide, South Australia, by 1954.
  • Cause of death: hypostatic pneumonia (5 days) and senility.

Workers Weekly
, Barrier Daily Truth, 2 November 1931 p 1.

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'Jones, Charles William (Bill) (c. 1882–1958)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012