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Tom Walsh

Portrait of a man in a hat and suit holding a rolled paper
Tom Walsh, 1925. Fairfax Syndication

Seaman and trade unionist

Tom Walsh was a staunch member and former branch secretary of the Federated Seamen’s Union of Australasia, and a member of the Victorian Socialist Party. He was defiantly anti-war and campaigned against conscription with Adela Pankhurst, whom he married in 1917.

Walsh, Pankhurst and their associates believed the burden of war fell most heavily on working class people, who were hit hard, first by unemployment and then by rapidly rising prices. The unions claimed that employers and the government used war and patriotism as arguments for reducing workers’ rights and conditions.

A black and white photograph of an anti-conscription rally
Anti-conscription rally, Yarra Bank, Melbourne, 1916. National Library of Australia n6487142
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