Fremantle Stuff > People > Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards

edwardsTom Edwards was a lumper who killed by police on Victoria Quay on 4 May 1919. His killer was never identified, let alone charged.

May of that year [1919] will long be remembered, by the occurrence of the most serious labour trouble in the history of the town. Following the strike of waterside workers in 1917, a number of volunteers, who were non-unionists, were employed on the wharf. Their presence created a deal of friction that culminated in a demonstration by unionists to bring pressure on the Government for the removal of the free labourers. That was followed by an interference with the free labourers at their work. On Sunday, May 4, the police were strengthened to uphold the law and they met with violent opposition. On their arrival the excitement grew to fever heat; stones were thrown and the ugly tones of angry men and women were raised against the police. The Riot Act was read by Magistrate Dowley and the clashes between the police and the mob were frequent, many of both sides being injured. One lumper, Tom Edwards, was killed. Hitchcock: 83.

edwards memorialA fountain was sculpted by Pietro Porcelli and erected as a memorial to 'working class martyr' Tom Edwards. It stood outside Trades Hall in Collie St until that was sold, and was moved to its present position in St John's Square in the early 1980s.

References and links

Hutchison, David 2006, Fremantle Walks, Fremantle Arts Centre Press: 56-58.

Hutchison, David 2012, '"Bloody Sunday" revisited', in Paul Arthur Longley & Geoffrey Bolton, Voices from the West End: Stories, People and Events that Shaped Fremantle, WA Museum: 210-249.

Williams, Justina 1976, 'Storm on the waterfront', The First Furrow, Lone Hand Press, Willagee: 71-77.

Fremantle Workers Club page about Tom Edwards including original newspaper clippings.

Photo of Don Whittington showing cemetery tourists Edwards' grave.

Photo of and text about the memorial fountain.

Wikipedia page


Garry Gillard | New: 15 June, 2015 | Now: 10 July, 2017