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William John (Jack) Olle (1871–1913)

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William John (John or Jack) Olle (1871-1913) trucker and trade union official

Birth: 10 February 1871 at Mount Rouse, Victoria, son of William Joseph Olle (1837-1882), a gardener, later farmer, born at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, and Mary Anne, née Cronin (1844-1927), born at Cork, Ireland. Marriage: 1896 at Narrabri, New South Wales, to Jane Mary Hooley (1863-1900), born at Portland, Victoria, of Irish descent. They had one son, Joseph Edward Olle (1899-1948). Death: 30 January 1913 in hospital at Bulong, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Brought up at Penshurst, Victoria. Lived at Narrabri, New South Wales from about 1895 to 1898. Moved to Western Australia after the death of his wife at Penshurst. His infant son apparently remained in Victoria and was brought up by relatives.
  • In WA, Jack worked as a trucker at Woodline, Kanowna, Elected secretary of Kurramia Woodcutters union.
  • Co-leader of Woodline strikes in 1908 and 1911 with Ned Hogan who became Premier of Victoria. In 1913 he worked as checker for the cutters on the woodline “was highly respected and very popular, and it was mainly through his influence with the foreigners and other cutters that an amicable settlement was arranged on the occasion of the late strike. . . could often be seen tramping through the bush at all hours of the day and night to look after the sick and injured, and in many cases conveying them to the hospital.”
  • Cause of death: heart failure, pleuritis, typhoid fever and peritonitis (21 years).

Additional Resources

  • photo, Truth (Perth), 25 July 1908, p 6

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Citation details

'Olle, William John (Jack) (1871–1913)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


10 February, 1871
Penshurst, Victoria, Australia


30 January, 1913 (aged 41)
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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