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Sydney Charles (Sid) Robinson (1874–1924)

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Broken Hill defendants, 1909 [Robinson is middle, back row]

Broken Hill defendants, 1909 [Robinson is middle, back row]

Leader (Melbourne), 1 May 1909, p 23

Robinson, Sydney Charles ('Sid') (1874-1924) miner, gaoled trade union leader 

Birth: 12 February 1874 at Broadway, Stratford, Essex, England, son of Benjamin George Robinson, florist, later commercial traveller, and Harriett, née Cooper. Marriage: with Baptist forms on 22 December 1900 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Ada Pauline Zschorn, born in South Australia. They had three daughters and two sons. Death: 5 February 1924 at Broken Hill, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican 

  • Went to sea at age of 14. To Broken Hill, NSW, c.1892. Described himself as a silver miner in 1900.
  • Shearer for several years, then miner. Joined Workers’ Industrial Union of Australasia.
  • Participated in 1894 shearers strike at Broken Hill. Arrested and charged in connection with the burning of the steamer 'Rodney' which transported strike breakers to take positions of militants, but was acquitted.
  • President Amalgamated Miners' Association on three occasions.
  • Participated in 1909 Broken Hill lock-out & strike. With Tom Mann and others, was arrested and charged with participating in unlawful assemblage and riot, being bound over to keep the peace.
  • An active socialist. Executive member Barrier Social Democratic Club.
  • Campaigned against 1909 Defence Act.
  • Represented Barrier District Assembly at the Political Labor League conference in Sydney in February 1911. Left mining industry in 1911 on contracting phthisis and tuberculosis. Moved to South Australia in hope of cure.
  • Returned to Broken Hill and worked for City Council. Became manager of local boarding house c. 1914.
  • Member, Broken Hill Memorial Committee and president.
  • Member of the Loyal United Brothers lodge, no. 207, Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows.
  • Cause of death pulmonary tuberculosis.

Edgar Ross, A history of the Miners' Federation of Australia ([Sydney] 1970); information from E. Ross, 1991; Barrier Daily Truth, 6 Feb. 1924; George Dale, The industrial history of Broken Hill, (Melbourne, 1918), pp.80-81; Brian Kennedy, Silver, sin and sixpenny ale; a social history of Broken Hill (Melbourne, 1978), pp.99, 113, 115 

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Citation details

'Robinson, Sydney Charles (Sid) (1874–1924)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 1 October 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Broken Hill defendants, 1909 [Robinson is middle, back row]

Broken Hill defendants, 1909 [Robinson is middle, back row]

Leader (Melbourne), 1 May 1909, p 23

Life Summary [details]


12 February, 1874
London, Middlesex, England


5 February, 1924 (aged 49)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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