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Edward Jones (1864–1915)

by Peter D. Gardner

This article was published:

Jones, Edward (1864-1915) coalminer and trade union activist

Birth: 1864 at Geelong, Victoria, son of Edward Jones, miner, and his wife Elizabeth. Marriage: 6 August 1891 at Fitzroy, Melbourne, with rites of the Victorian Free Church, to a miner’s daughter, native-born Elizabeth Ann Champion (1863-1944), assistant. They had four sons and one daughter. Death: 13 March 1915 at Melbourne Hospital. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Was a labourer living in Melbourne at his marriage in 1891.
  • His daughter and three sons were born at Korumburra, Victoria, between 1896 and 1904.
  • Activist in co-operativist faction of Victorian Coal Miners' Association (VCMA) but also corresponded with members of the Legislative Assembly sympathetic to labour.
  • Present at early VCMA protest rally in 1896. Unsuccessful candidate for VCMA presidency 1898. VCMA representative in 1902 but does not appear to have played a prominent part in 1903 Victorian coal strike.
  • After strike probably worked in Silkstone Co-operative Colliery.
  • Reports of a court case in March 1905 described him as “one of the oldest Coal Creek Union hands”. He had attempted to prevent his daughter Ada, a domestic servant at the home of Patrick McDonald, the manager of the Coal Creek Mine, from marrying a free labourer, whose brother had prevented him from obtaining work at the mine.
  • Still resident at Silkstone, in South Gippsland district, in 1914.
  • Described as a farmer residing at Korumburra on his death certificate. Cause of death: “sciatica and acute dilatation of stomach”. Buried in Korumburra cemetery.

Great Southern Advocate; Outtrim News; Korumburra Times; 1906 Victorian Royal Commission into Coal Industry; 1903, 1906, 1908 and 1909 Victorian electoral rolls; ; P. D. Gardner, Too old to rat: the radical miners of South Gippsland 1893-1904 (Ensay, Victoria, 1994).

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Citation details

Peter D. Gardner, 'Jones, Edward (1864–1915)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Geelong, Victoria, Australia


13 March, 1915 (aged ~ 51)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

gastric dilatation

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.

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