William Thomas Appleton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Thomas Appleton
Born 2 May 1859
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died 16 February 1930
Malvern, Australia
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Jane Traill (27 April 1882)
Children 2 daughters 5 sons (eldest killed at Pozières in 1916)

William Thomas Appleton (1859-1930), was an Australian businessman, shipping agent and public servant. He was born on 2 May 1859 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. His father, Thomas Appleton was a bookbinder, and his mother was Mary (née Burnley).[1]

In late 1859 the Appleton family visited a maternal uncle (William Burnley) who ran an import-export agency in the Port Phillip District, after which William Appleton returned to England and completed his education at Wharfdale College, Yorkshire. He then returned with his parents to Victoria in 1869 settling in Geelong, where he attended the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School in 1872-73.[1]

He worked with his brother (Colonel) George Burnley Appleton (1850-1945) at his Geelong woolbroking firm. Later he was chairman of Huddart Parker & Co. Pty Ltd. Appleton joined this firm in Geelong c. 1884 becoming Manager in 1887, then moving to the Melbourne office. He joined the Board of Management in 1894 becoming Managing Director in 1898 and Chairman of the Company in 1910-30.[1]

Whilst on the Harbour Trust, Appleton supported long-term plans for new dock construction. Appleton Dock on the north side of the Yarra River was named after him.[2] During World War I Appleton held a number of temporary official posts. He died of cancer at his home in Malvern on 16 February 1930 leaving an estate of £131,323.[1]

Industry achievements[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d G. R. Henning, 'Appleton, William Thomas (1859–1930)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed 4 April 2013.
  2. ^ Port of Melbourne, Maritime history History of the port
  3. ^ Held on 5 Jan 1916, under auspices of Prime Minister Billy Hughes to create a National Laboratory for Australia - led to formation of {CSIRO} George Currie, John Graham, The Origins of CSIRO: Science and the Commonwealth Government 1901-1926 Csiro Publishing, 01/06/1966