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.

Robert Herman York (1868–1933)

This article was published:

Robert York, by George Finey

Robert York, by George Finey

Smith's Weekly, 23 June 1928, p 13

Robert Herman (Bob) York, also known as Robert Herrmann York (1868-1933) printer and trade union official 

Birth: 23 February 1868 in Sydney, New South Wales, son of Hannah Tryphena Herrmann, born at Moreton Bay, Queensland, of German heritage. Later that year she married English-born William York (1835-1907). They had nine more children. Marriage: 1896 at Ashfield, NSW to Sydney-born Lillie May Cropley (1874-1939). They had one daughter and one son. Death: 19 January 1933 in Melbourne, Victoria. Religion: Church of Christ. 

  • Brought up at Redfern, Sydney.
  • Worked in printing trade with E. Smith and Co. 1877. Apprentice hand compositor with J. L. Holmes and Co. at 14 yrs of age. Compositor with William Andrews Printing Company.
  • Member of NSW Typographical Association from last year of apprenticeship. Board member of Association from about 1901. Represented association at triennial conference in 1904.
  • Jobbing vice-president of NSW Typographical Association in 1903 and executive officer until 1908. Secretary of the NSW branch of the Typographical Association 1908-1916; Membership grew from 700 to 2500 during this time; yeoman service. Member of Printers' Wages Board in NSW.
  • Federal Secretary-Treasurer, Printing Industry Employees’ Union of Australia from 1916 to 1933. Work required him to move to Melbourne from about 1928.
  • An athlete in his youth, he was a member of Vaucluse Sailing Club. Member of Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club for 30 yrs.
  • Visited England, Europe and America in 1923 recovering from ill-health at that time, but again experienced periods of ill-health eventually leading up to death.
  • Was a past master of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows. “His was a lovable and kindly disposition”.
  • Son Walter Robert York (1899-1967), later a solicitor, served in Australian Imperial Force in World War I.

Typographical Journal, 1 January 1908, p 25; Labor Daily (Sydney), 13 January 1927, 26 January 1933; H. J. Gibbney and A. G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 2 (Canberra, 1987); Amalgamated Printing Trades Union Review, February 1934 p 4; Printing Trades Journal, 14 February 1933 pp 20-21 & 33.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'York, Robert Herman (1868–1933)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Robert York, by George Finey

Robert York, by George Finey

Smith's Weekly, 23 June 1928, p 13

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • York, Robert Hermman

23 February, 1868
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


19 January, 1933 (aged 64)
St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, 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.

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.

Key Organisations