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Members’ biographical register

Walter Kingsmill

Principal Honours
Knight (Kt) (1933)
Date: 10 April 1864
Place: Glenelg, South Australia, Australia
Arrival in WA
Arrived WA 27 April 1888
Son of Walter Kingsmill, pastoralist, and Jane Elizabeth, nee Haslam
Marriage and Family
Married 20 December 1899, St Patrick’s Church, Fremantle (Catholic) to Mary Agatha Fanning (born circa 1868 and died circa September 1936), daughter of Peter Henry and Mary Prendergast
No children
Date: 15 January 1935
Place: Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Cemetery: Cremated at Rookwood Memorial Gardens, NSW. Ashes were collected by RA Broinowski and scattered over a rose garden in the grounds of Parliament House, Canberra, October 1935.
Church of England
Educated St Peter’s College 1876–1880
University of Adelaide BA 1883
Employment History
1883–1886 employed at Geological Department, South Australia
Then prospecting in Teetuppa, Manna Hills district and Barrier district of NSW
To Pilbara goldfields where he stayed until 1896, managed several mines, Mining registrar at Marble Bar November 1894–October 1895
Local Government Service
Pilbara Road Board 1890s
Supporter of Forrest but from 1899 opposed
Liberal then National from 1917
Date Elected
17 May 1897
Inaugural Speech
Kingsmill, Walter, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Walter Kingsmill
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service

  • MLA Pilbara 17 May 1897–12 February 1903 (resigned)
  • MLC Metropolitan–Suburban Province 9 February 1903 (by-election) –1 March 1910 (resigned); Metropolitan Province 23 May 1910–21 May 1922
  • Contested Metropolitan Province 13 May 1922

  • Opposition Whip 1899
  • Minister for Public Works 27 May 1901–21 November 1901
  • Commissioner of Railways 23 December 1901–1 July 1902
  • Colonial Secretary and Minister for Education 1 July 1902–10 August 1904
  • Leader of Government in Legislative Council 9 February 1903–10 August 1904
  • Colonial Secretary and Minister for Education 25 August 1905–7 May 1906
  • President Legislative Council 31 July 1919–21 May 1922

  • Chairman of Committees Legislative Council 17 July 1906–1 March 1910, 3 August 1910–31 July 1919

  • Senator WA 1 July 1923 (elected December 1922)–15 January 1935 (lost pre-selection and did not contest 1934 election)
  • Contested Senate 13 April 1910

  • President of the Senate 14 August 1929–31 August 1932

  • Vice-Chairman Public Accounts Committee 1926–1927 and Chairman 1927–1929
Member Kings Park Board
President Lawn Tennis Association of Western Australia
Council member Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Western Australia
Director of Zoological Gardens 1916–1917 and president of Board 1916–1922
1918–1919 Senate University of Western Australia
BA 1883
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 114.
Email from Rookwood Memorial Gardens, NSW, 7 December 2016.
"SCATTERED IN ROSE GARDEN" Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954) 3 October 1935: 4. Web. 7 Dec 2016 <>.
Further Information
Battye, J.S. The Cyclopedia of Western Australia : an historical and commercial review : descriptive and biographical facts, figures and illustrations : an epitome of progress, vol 1, p. 328.
Bolton, G. C. 'Kingsmill, Sir Walter (1864–1935)', Australian Dictionary of Biography,
Erickson, R. The bicentennial dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888, Volume III
National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, 10 January 2013.
Kimberly, W.B. History of West Australia. A Narrative of her Past, together with biographies of her leading men, p. 200 (portrait)
Parliament of Western Australia, Former Members, Parliament of Western Australia website, accessed 15 May 2014.
Sir Walter Kingsmill Papers, 1925–26 (National Library of Australia)
Sydney Morning Herald 16 January 1935.
Twentieth century impressions of Western Australia, p. 33.
West Australian, 16 January 1935.