Edward GrayndlerPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by David Brighton

The tombstone erected by the Australian Workers Union commemorates Edward Grayndler. The grave is close to the gravesite of his life-long friend, and fellow officer of the union, John Barnes. 

Edward Grayndler (12 October 1867 – 12 March 1943) was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1921 to 1934 and 1936 to 1943, and General Secretary of the Australian Workers Union from 1912 to 1941. 

After the shearers' strike in 1890, he became an early and staunch advocate of the settlement of industrial disputes by arbitration. Although he was frequently opposed, he was never defeated at a poll of union members numbering well over 100,000. He was regarded as one of the finest union advocates appearing in the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. He was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council by the State Labour Government in 1920, and remained a member till 1933. He was elected to the re-formed NSW Legislative Council in 1936 for a term of 9 years. He died in 1943 at a private hospital in Melbourne. 

Mr. Edward Grayndler, M.L.C., ot Sydney, who died at the Bethseda Hospital, Richmond (V.) on Friday night, was buried close to his lifelong friend and fellow officer of the Australian Workers' Union— the late Mr. John Barnes— in the Melbourne general cemetery, Carlton, yesterday at 2.30 p.m. Mr. Grayndler was one of the best known trade union leaders in Australia, having devoted practically all his life of the building up of the A.W.U., which now has a membership of more than 100.000. Yesterday's funeral passed the Trades Hall. Mr. Grayndler went to Melbourne at the end of January to attend the unveiling of the memorial erected by the A.W.U. on the grave of Mr. Barnes, who was a former general president of the A.W.U. and a former Victorian Senator.  Although in indifferent health Mr. Grayndler spoke at the ceremony and some weeks later he entered hospital. In their young days he and Mr. Barnes worked together in shearing sheds.

Mr Grayndler  became secretary of the Victoria-Riverina branch of the A.W.U. at St Arnaud in 1900. The headquarters of the union were transferred to Ballarat in 1905. He resigned in 1909, and took up a business appointment in Sydney. In 1912 he was elected general secretary of the A.W.U., and held that position until his retirement two years ago. Mr. Grayndler was 75. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, all of Sydney. He was well known to an earlier generation at Wagga. which he often visited in the early days of the shearers union. 
Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW) 16 March 1943. 


Address:College Crescent, Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North, 3054
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.791811
Long: 144.961975
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State


Front Inscription

Erected by the Australian Workers Union

In memory of the late Hon. Edward Grayndler M.L.C. as a tribute of respect to one who was their General Secretary for many years

Died 12th March 1943, aged 75 years

Beloved husband of Margaret

A wise counsellor, an able and devoted servant, a true hearted mate.


Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au