Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

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.

Neil Francis (Frank) Ferry (1896–1954)

Frank Ferry, assistant secretary of the Sydney Branch of the Waterside Workers' Federation, died of cancer last week.

Impressive funeral ceremony included a Memorial Service at the WWF rooms in Sussex Street last Thursday.

Frank Ferry lay in state in the rooms flanked by wharfie pall bearers dressed in working clothes.

A funeral oration was delivered by Edgar Ross Editor of Common Cause. Other speakers included WWF President Dutchie Young, Secretary Tom Nelson and rank and filer Tom Walsh.

The service concluded with the Funeral March and the body was escorted by hundreds of wharfies part of the way to the chapel from which the funeral left last Friday.

Frank Ferry was born, lived and died at Millers Point. He was a coal lumper who was victimised after the 1917 strike.

Taken into the WWF with other victimised workers, Frank soon became a Guardian of the WWF (a position since abolished).

In 1930 he became WWF Sydney Branch treasurer; in 1935 a Vigilance Officer and in 1940 Assistant Secretary, a position he held until his death.

Tom Nelson, long an associate of Frank's, told Tribune that Frank Ferry "was an extremely honest and methodical man; an example by whom all union officials can profit.

"The union always came first with Frank.

"I have been his associate for years and although he was a staunch ALP member and I am a staunch Communist, never once did we face our members with a divided policy and we faced them in all sorts of crises.

"We were united because we based our approach on the union; what was good for it and the membership.

"Frank will be missed by the Federation."

Original publication

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Ferry, Neil Francis (Frank) (1896–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


29 November, 1896
Millers Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


8 December, 1954 (aged 58)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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 Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism