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Ethel Nelson Teerman (1884–1958)

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Ethel May Teerman, née Bridge, also known as Ethel Nelson Teerman (1884-1958) miner’s wife, miners’ auxiliary leader and community activist 

Birth: 27 May 1884 at Louth, New South Wales, daughter of Harold Alexander Bridge (1855-1914), a labourer and metal miner born at Liverpool, England, and Caroline Ann, née Grant (1861-1924), born in Adelaide, South Australia. Marriage: 1905 at Cobar, NSW, to native-born Nelson ‘Jack’ Teerman (1880-1939), metal miner and union activist. They had four sons and two daughters. Death: 7 June 1958 in Sydney. 

  • Lived at Broken Hill for 30 years where her husband worked as underground miner. Active in local anti-conscription campaigns during World War 1.
  • Husband ‘leaded’ working in mines and after World War 1 the family moved to Cessnock where ‘Jack’ became coal miner.
  • Active in 1929-30 Northern coalfields lockout (husband secretary of main strike committee). During dispute led deputation of 500 women urging local shopkeepers not to co-operate with strike-breaking activities of authorities.
  • With Irene Graham, Grace Scanlon and others, helped form Women’s Auxiliaries of Miners’ Federation. President Northern District Women’s Auxiliary. Became first national president.
  • To Sydney after husband’s death in 1939 following his long illness from ‘dust’. Became involved in New Housewives’ Association and pensioners’ organisations.
  • Also active in peace movement during 1950s.
  • Funeral service conducted by Edgar Ross.
  • Mother of Ethel Lewis.

Common Cause
, 5 August 1939; 14 June 1958.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Teerman, Ethel Nelson (1884–1958)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Teerman, Ethel May
  • Bridge, Ethel May

27 May, 1884
Louth, New South Wales, Australia


7 June, 1958 (aged 74)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism