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Members’ biographical register

James Cornell

Date: 23 December 1874
Place: Merrijig near Mansfield, Victoria, Australia
Arrival in WA
1897 to WA
Son of Henry, farmer, and Barbara Jane Brown
Marriage and Family
Married (1) 14 July 1909, St Matthews Church, Boulder, to Mary Ann Beatrice Daws (born circa 1890), daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Buckland
Children: one son,
George Meredith Cornell, accountant and politician
Widowed 22 June 1939
Married (2) 18 May 1940, St Andrews Church, Perth (Presbyterian), to Florence Evelyn nee Bruce (born circa 1891 and died circa 30 August 1965), hospital matron, daughter of Charles Robert and Elizabeth Jane Tusted
No children
Date: 25 November 1946
Place: Claremont, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, WA
Church of England
Employment History
1897–1900 station hand on Ashburton
1900–1907 worked in Great Boulder Mine
1909 amalgamator
1910 builders’ labourer
Enlisted at Kalgoorlie, 1st Australian Imperial Force 17 March 1917, served in France in Tunnelling Co and on staff of the Australian General Base Depot
Promoted Sergeant 25 January 1918
Discharged 28 October 1918
Labor until 1917 then National Secretary Eastern Goldfields Australian Labor Federation (ALF) 1908–1912
By 1916 acting secretary Metropolitan Council, ALF, State Executive Perth and secretary Metropolitan Council Australia Labor Division, Perth
National 1916
Date Elected
22 May 1912
Inaugural Speech
Cornell, James, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by James Cornell
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC South Province 22 May 1912–25 November 1946

  • President of the Legislative Council 25 July 1946–25 November 1946
  • Chairman of Committees 2 September 1926–25 July 1946

Historical Notes
  • Father of the House October–November 1946
1890 joined Shearers’ Union (Wagga Wagga branch)
1904 trustee Goldfields Trades and Labor Council
Also secretary Goldfields Iron and Sheet Metal Workers’ Union
Keen aviarist
Battye I, p. 321.
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2001, p. 53.
Erickson, Rica. Dictionary of Western Australians 1829-1914, Vol 5, The Golden Years 1889-1914.
Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website. Accessed 20 September 2017.
West Australian, 16 May 1912, 26 November 1912.