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William Henry Greenhalgh (1854–1924)

In Mr. William Henry Greenhalgh. who died in the Coast Hospital on Saturday, after a short illness, there passed away a veteran unionist and Laborite.

Mr. Greenhalgh, who was an engineer, was born in Bolton, Lancashire, 70 years ago— he was 69 last January. After service in the English Navy, on the Australian station and elsewhere he came to Australia to settle in 1875. He worked at several shops in South Australia, and finally went to Broken Hill.

It was at Broken Hill that Mr. Greenhalgh had the opportunity to prove his worth as a militant unionist and finely used it. He was concerned in the 1890 lock-out, was treasurer of the Miners' Defence Fund, and a delegate for the unions to the companies' headquarters in Melbourne and in the big strike of 1892 in which he played a full man's part. As a result of his championship of the men, foreman and engineer and all as he was he was black listed by the mine owners and boycotted all along the lines of lode. 

Forced from the Barrier by the boycott, Mr. Greenhalgh came to Sydney and for five or six years contracted under the New South Wales Government. Later he worked successively at the Clyde engineering and Mort's Dock, and at Cobar. From Cobar he went to West Australia.

Mr. Greenhalgh was a nephew of the late Mr. Robert Whiteheud, the inventor of the torpedo, who educated and apprenticed him, and a cousin of Princess Bismarck. Mr. Whitchead dying in 19o6, left a very large fortune, some share of which went to Mr. Greenhalgh, who visited England to appropriate what had been left him. On his return to Australia a few years later, he worked as engineer in several West Australian mines, and finally found his way hack to New South Wales and took service at Cockatoo.

For eight years prior to his death he was employed by the Australian Gas-Light Company at Mortlake. He lived with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Frederickson, of Darling Road, Cabarata, both prominent Laborites.

The funeral took place on Sunday, the interment being made at the Rookwood Cemetery.

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Citation details

'Greenhalgh, William Henry (1854–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


January, 1854
Bolton, Lancashire, England


10 May, 1924 (aged 70)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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