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Sir Frederick George Waley (1860–1933)

Sir Frederick Waley, 1931

Sir Frederick Waley, 1931

Wollongong City Library, P18/P18864

The death occurred yesterday of Sir Frederick George Waley, a prominent commercial man of Sydney, who had taken a wide interest in charitable work generally, and especially in the work of the Red Cross Society. He rendered notable home service during the war.

Born in London in 1860, Sir Frederick Waley was educated at the University College School, London. He settled in Queensland in 1883, and came to Sydney two years later, as the first secretary to Burns, Philp, and Co., Ltd. Later, as a partner of the firm of Mitchell and Woolcott-Waley, he became associated with the southern coal trade, in which he was actively interested during the remainder of his life. He was appointed manager of the Bellambi Coal Co., Ltd. on its formation, and at the date of his death was that company's chairman of directors and general manager, as well as chairman of directors of W. E. Smith, Ltd., a director of Queensland Insurance Co., Ltd., and of Coal and Bunkering Co., Ltd., and a life governor and trustee since 1921 of the Women's Hospital. For a number of years he was chairman of the Southern Colliery Proprietors' Association.

As an old member of the Naval Volunteer Artillery, he retired in 1900 with the rank of lieutenant; but early in 1916 he was appointed captain in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, and acted as Commonwealth representative on the Naval Coal Board, and officer-in-command of the Naval Transport Coaling Battalion. During the strike in 1917, when the men refused to coal hospital ships and transports, he undertook the enrolment of loyalist workers to carry out these operations, and acted as representative for the Controller of Shipping for the bunkering of all transports and other vessels engaged in war service, and in the control of all local steam collier tonnage. He was subsequently appointed officer in charge of Federal coal stocks, supervising the purchase and storing of nearly 500,000 tons of coal for war purposes, and was later appointed president of the Northern and Southern Coal Purchase Boards, which were instituted by the Federal Government to purchase coal where, through shortage of tonnage owing to the war, employees were not receiving adequate work. For these services he received letters of thanks from the authorities, was made a Commander of the British Empire, and, on the special recommendation of the Naval Board, was awarded the British General Service Medal. He was later made Knight Bachelor. He was also a Knight First-class of the Order of St. Olav, which was granted him by the King of Norway in recognition of his services for many years as Vice-Consul for Norway in Sydney.

In 1919, he and Lady Waley presented their country home, Mowbray Park, at Picton, to the Commonwealth Government as a permanent home for shell-shocked and permanently incapacitated sailors and soldiers, or for any national use for those forces, and for a number of years he assisted in superintending the farm activities at the home. Keenly interested in both Arctic and Antarctic exploration, he gave much valuable assistance in the equipment of the Discovery when that vessel visited Sydney, on the occasion of Captain Scott's last attempt to reach the South Pole.

Death occurred at 12.20 a.m. yesterday. Later in the day the remains were cremated and in accordance with Sir Frederick Waley's expressed wish, the funeral was of a private character. He is survived by Lady Waley, two sons, and three daughters.

Members of the board of directors of the Crown-street Women's Hospital, at their meeting yesterday, after standing in silence for a brief period, as a token of respect to the memory of Sir Frederick Waley, carried a motion expressing their deep sympathy with Lady Waley and family, and placing on record their appreciation of Sir Frederick Waley's services to the hospital.

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'Waley, Sir Frederick George (1860–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

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