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Percy "Jack" Brookfield (1875–1921), English-born, settled in Broken Hill before World War I, 20 years after jumping ship in Melbourne.

A militant trade unionist, his victories included the 1916 campaign for a 44-hour week for Broken Hill miners. Brookfield won a New South Wales parliamentary by-election as a socialist anti-conscriptionist in 1917 and pursued a strong left-wing agenda.

Shot at Riverton Railway Station while en route to parliament in Sydney in 1921, Brookfield died next day in the Adelaide Hospital and was buried in Broken Hill after the city’s largest-ever funeral. The shooting, by a mentally unstable Russian who had already wounded several people before Brookfield’s attempt to disarm him, has sometimes been mistakenly considered a political assassination.  

By Bernie O'Neil

This entry was first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Edited lightly. Uploaded 8 August 2015.

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Image: Photographic portrait of a man in a suit jacket, vest and shirt.
Image: A railway station. A train is on the platform to the right, with smoke coming out of the front. People are boarding the train. To the left is the station building, made of brick
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