People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Frederick William Watson (c. 1854–1917)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Frederick [William] Watson (c.1854-1917?) coalminer, gaoled trade union leader

Birth: in London about 1854, parentage unknown. Unmarried. Death: ?25 May 1917 at Teralba, New South Wales. Religion: Presbyterian?

  • On 6 November 1909 at a meeting of Cardiff, Waratah, Durham, New Lambton, Shortland and Burwood Extended miners’ lodges held at Adamstown, Watson was a delegate appointed by the Burwood (Lambton) miners lodge who urged the meeting to adopt the recommendation of the Colliery Employees Federation to strike until they obtained “redress for their grievances and to “ask southern and western miners, and the waterside workers to lay down their tools in common cause”.
  • He was one of the thirteen such delegates charged under the Industrial Relations Act, 1908, with instigating the “Peter Bowling Strike” of 1909-1910.
  • On 29 December 1909 Watson was fined £100 in default two months imprisonment with hard labour. He was taken to Maitland gaol on 22 February 1910, and released on 4 April.
  • Reliable reports of his activity end in February 1914, when he is last recorded as secretary of the Burwood Miners’ Lodge.
  • It seems likely that he was the Frederick William Watson, quarryman, who was “accidentally killed by an explosion of jelignite whilst firing a shot at a gravel quarry” at Teralba in May 1917.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Watson, Frederick William (c. 1854–1917)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1854
London, Middlesex, England


25 May, 1917 (aged ~ 63)
Teralba, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

workplace accident

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 Places