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John Bertie (Bert) Martin (1890–1964)

This article was published:

John Martin, n.d.

John Martin, n.d.

John Bertie (Bert or 'Plugger') Martin (1890-1964) clerk, trade union official and parliamentarian 

Birth: 16 October 1890 at Waverley, New South Wales, son of John Martin, engineer, and Maria Theresa, née McArdle (1865-1958). Marriage: 1910 at Sydney, NSW, to Elizabeth Louise Smith. They had one daughter and one son. Death: 14 March 1964 [d.c. wrongly states 1963] at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown; usual residence Moira Crescent, Randwick, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Employed in the Postmaster General’s Department from 1904 to 1912, began as telephonist.
  • Executive member, secretary and president of the Federated Clerks’ Union, Federal section, from 1916 to 1928. Executive member of the Trades and Labor Council in 1928. Delegate to Australian Council of Trade Unions conferences from 1921.
  • General returning officer for the Australian Labor Party from 1927 to 1930. Organising secretary of the ALP in 1930-1939. Labour Army, chairman and chief organiser.
  • Member of the Legislative Council of NSW from 1931 until 1946, when he retired.
  • Assistant manager of Labor Motor Funerals Ltd 1943. Secretary of Australian Funeral Directors Association, NSW branch, 1964.
  • Brother of Joseph Michael Martin (1898-1940), Electrical Trades Union official and member of the Legislative Council 1931-1934.
  • Cause of death: bleeding aorta (1 hour), aortic graft (8 days), aortic aneurysm (months) and paralytic ileus (6 days).

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton (eds), Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Labor Year Book 1933, p 173, 1934-35 p 233; Malcolm Henry Ellis, The Garden path (Sydney, 1949); death notice Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 1964, p 30.

Citation details

'Martin, John Bertie (Bert) (1890–1964)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

John Martin, n.d.

John Martin, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


16 October, 1890
Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


14 March, 1964 (aged 73)
Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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