Cr Alfred William Langshaw

Alfred William Langshaw was born in St Arnaud, Victoria, on 15 January 1900, to parents Henry Roland Langshaw and Eliza Jane Langshaw (nee Martin). He was the second born of their seven children. After completing his schooling, Alfred trained and worked as a bricklayer, a career he continued for many years and one that stood him in good stead in his later career.

In 1921, Alfred married Ethel Nankervis (1893-1991), the daughter of John Warren and Mary Werne Nankervis. Alfred and Ethel moved to live and work within the Geelong area where their six children were born. The Langshaw family remained in the Geelong district for about 18 years before moving up the highway to the suburb of Footscray. Here, Alfred took up several positions as a bricklayer, working on numerous buildings around Melbourne. His specialty was the erection of chimneys and boilers for factories, of which were so skilfully crafted that he was often sought after to undertake similar work interstate.

During World War 2 (WW2), Alfred served in the RAAF (February 1943 to October 1945) as a Leading Aircraftman within Melbourne. His eldest son, Roland, also served during WW2, enlisting in the Army and seeing action in Papua New Guinea. Following the end of the war, Alfred and Ethel moved to Clematis Avenue in Altona North where he began to immerse himself in community affairs and social pursuits. He became a member of the Altona Hospital committee, a foundation member of the Altona Gun Club, and pursued his interest in training and racing trotting horses.

When Altona was finally given approval to form as a Shire and succeed from the Shire of Werribee, Alfred put his name forward as a candidate on the Labour Party ticket, which saw him contest the first election against 25 other candidates on 11 May 1957. At this election, he became the fourth candidate to be duly elected and took his place on the inaugural council. Alfred was re-elected in August 1958, and in the following year, he was elected as the fourth Shire President.

His term as a councillor was scheduled to end in August 1961, but at the end of his year as President, he stood down as a councillor to take up a position as the Altona Shire Building Inspector. On 19 March 1968, Alfred William Langshaw passed away at his home in Clematis Avenue, aged 68. He was survived by his wife, Ethel, his two daughters, and four sons. He is interred within the Altona Memorial Park.


  1. Archives – Altona Laverton Historical Society Inc.
  2. Victorian Municipal Directory.
  3. Altona Star Newspapers.
  4. National Archives of Australia

Research by: Graeme Reilly (2022)

Editing: Adam Virgona