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Adam Hutton (Lang) Ogston (1905–1982)

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Adam Hutton (Lang) Ogston (1905-1982) greengrocer and gaoled Communist party organiser 

Birth: 4 December 1905 at Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, son of Scottish-born parents James Ogston (1873-1952), a breadcarter, and Hellen Henrry [sic], née Hutton (1873-1955). Marriages: (1) on 24 June 1941 at Auburn, Sydney, New South Wales, to Hannah Thompson (1898-1960), born in Glasgow, Scotland. They had one daughter and two sons. (2) 1960 at Parramatta, NSW, to Shirley Lown (1918-2008), born in Kadina, South Australia. Death: 24 July 1982 in his residence at Seven Hills, NSW. Religion on enlistment: Presbyterian. 

  • Arrived in Australia with his family in 1924. Gained first job on dairy farm near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
  • Worked on Hume Weir and joined Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), becoming an AWU delegate. Worked on Moss Vale to Port Kembla railway construction in 1928.
  • Unemployed in 1929, trekked through NSW and Queensland looking for work — like many others. A member of the Australian Labor Party up to a period during Lang government in NSW when he witnessed police assaults on unemployed people. Joined the Communist Party of Australia.
  • Granville district secretary of the Unemployed Council in Sydney. Leader of unemployed demonstrations and anti-eviction struggles. Was a greengrocer in Merrylands, Sydney, in 1935.
  • Served period of imprisonment for political activities against evictions and also during the pig iron dispute against trade with Japan which included leading a demonstration in 1939. Secretary of the Legal Rights Association. Helped to organise relief workers including leading a demonstration in Parramatta in 1938.
  • Conducted weekly radio session 'Voice of the People' on 2UE from 1941 to at least 1943.
  • Served in the Royal Australian Air Force from 9 November 1943 to 28 December 1945.
  • Member, Central Committee CPA and elected NSW State Secretary in 1942. Was also the party’s publicity director. CPA candidate for the seat of Lakemba in 1944, while serving in the RAAF as leading aircraftsman, again stood for Lakemba in 1946, and for the seat of Marrickville in 1956.
  • Cause of death: chronic obstructive airways disease.
  • Mother, wife and brother were also members of Communist Party.

Sources
Malcolm Henry Ellis, The Garden path (Sydney, 1949); John Playford, Doctrinal and strategic problems of the Communist Party of Australia, 1945-1962, (PhD thesis, ANU, 1962), p 428; Tribune (Sydney), 5 August 1943, p 7, 11 May 1944, p 3, 27 September 1946, 22 February 1956, p 6.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Ogston, Adam Hutton (Lang) (1905–1982)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/ogston-adam-hutton-lang-33581/text41992, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Adam Ogston, 1944

Adam Ogston, 1944

Tribune (Sydney), 27 April 1944, p 3

Life Summary [details]

Birth

4 December, 1905
Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Death

24 July, 1982 (aged 76)
Seven Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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.

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.

Occupation
Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism