Mr William Henry LAMB (1889 - 1964)**

  • Date of Birth: 05/01/1889
  • Place of Birth: Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia
  • Date of Death: 08/01/1964
  • Place of Death: Burwood, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly26 Mar 19385 Feb 196223yr(s) 10mth(s) 11day(s)
Member for Granville26 Mar 193818 Apr 19413yr(s) 24day(s)
32nd (1938 - 1941)
Member for Granville10 May 194124 Apr 19442yr(s) 11mth(s) 15day(s)
33rd (1941 - 1944)
Member for Granville27 May 194429 Mar 19472yr(s) 10mth(s) 3day(s)
34th (1944 - 1947)
Member for Granville3 May 194722 May 19503yr(s) 20day(s)
35th (1947 - 1950)
Member for Granville17 Jun 195014 Jan 19532yr(s) 6mth(s) 29day(s)
36th (1950 - 1953)
Member for Granville14 Feb 19536 Feb 19562yr(s) 11mth(s) 24day(s)
37th (1953 - 1956)
Member for Granville3 Mar 195616 Feb 19592yr(s) 11mth(s) 14day(s)
38th (1956 - 1959)
Member for Granville21 Mar 19595 Feb 19622yr(s) 10mth(s) 16day(s)
39th (1950 - 1953)
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly28 May 194720 Apr 195911yr(s) 10mth(s) 24day(s)

Political Party Activity

Australian Labor Party (ALP). Joined the Australian Labor Party in 1916, member of the Australian Labor Party (Non-Communist) in 1940; lost preselection in 1962.

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Miner, schoolteacher and company secretary. Educated at Airly near Lithgow; at twelve a grocer's delivery boy, at fourteen pit boy in mines, on the face by nineteen, found employment as a clerk; joined Education Department becoming a teacher at Meryula near Cobar from 1910 until 1912, Gospers Downs from 1912 until 1913, Sidebottom from 1913 until 1920, Auburn from 1920 until 1921; resigned to enter life insurance company office, studied accountancy, became an office manager in 1927 which position he held when elected to Parliament; noted athlete in youth; boxer.

Local Government Activity

Alderman at Auburn from 1932 until 1939. Mayor in 1935.


Son of Thomas Lamb, wheelwright and coachbuilder. Married Florence Mansfield on 27 August 1913 and had issue, 2 daughters and 3 sons. Roman Catholic. Funeral at Rookwood cemetery from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church, Granville.

Additional Information

Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995
William Lamb was born on 5 January 1889 at Nyngan in New South Wales. From the age of 14 he worked on the western coal fields of New South Wales as a pit boy and later as a miner. After many years of part-time study, much of which took place at the coal face, he became a school teacher, and later the manager of an insurance office. Lamb rose to executive positions within various trade unions and in 1916 he joined the Labor Party. He married Florence Mansfield in 1913 and they had three sons and two daughters. Before entering the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Granville in 1938, Lamb had several years experience in local government as an alderman on the Auburn Council from 1932 until 1939, becoming Mayor in 1935. A vigorous debater, he was successfully elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly between 1947 and 1959. He believed in exercising a firm control over Parliament which he applied through his sometimes controversial interpretation of the Standing Orders. The Opposition labelled him inflexible and vigorously criticised him for displaying a bias towards the Government. Lamb was also attacked for inconsistent rulings and unnecessary interjections from the Chair. During the evenly balanced Parliament of 1950 - 1953 he voted regularly in committee, where he was not paired, thus giving the Government a majority of one. The Opposition frequently moved motions of dissent and in 1953 a motion of no confidence against him. He was replaced as Speaker by Ray Maher and in 1962 he lost preselection and retired. He died on 8 January 1964 at Burwood.