Arnold Piesse

Arnold Edmund Piesse (2 April 1872 – 21 July 1935) was an Australian politician who served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1909 to 1914 and again from 1930 until his death, on both occasions representing the seat of Katanning.

Arnold Piesse
Arnold Piesse portrait.png
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
4 November 1909 – 21 October 1914
Preceded byFrederick Piesse
Succeeded byAlec Thomson
In office
12 April 1930 – 21 July 1935
Preceded byAlec Thomson
Succeeded byArthur Watts
Personal details
Born(1872-04-02)2 April 1872
Guildford, Western Australia, Australia
Died21 July 1935(1935-07-21) (aged 63)
At sea
Political partyLiberal (1911–1914)
Country (from 1930)

Piesse was born in Guildford, Western Australia, to Elizabeth Ellen (née Oxley) and William Roper Piesse. Three of his brothers, Alfred, Charles, and Frederick Piesse, were also members of parliament. After leaving school, Piesse worked in Northam for five years, employed by the merchant firm of George Throssell (a future premier). He then joined two of his brothers (Charles and Frederick) in business at Katanning, eventually taking over the company. Piesse was eventually elected to the Katanning Road Board, and served as its chairman for a period.[1] He first entered parliament in November 1909, winning the seat of Katanning unopposed at the by-election caused by the resignation of his brother Frederick. He was re-elected at the 1911 state election, standing for the Liberal Party, but after a period of ill health chose not to re-contest his seat at the 1914 election.[2] After leaving parliament, Piesse went to England on a health trip, and did not return to Australia until 1925.[3]

Standing as an unendorsed Country Party candidate,[4] Piesse re-entered parliament at the 1930 state election, defeating Alec Thomson (the sitting Country Party leader who had been Piesse's successor in 1914). He was re-elected at the 1933 election,[2] but died in office in July 1935 (aged 63). He had left for a health trip to England in February of that year, and on the Cape TownFremantle leg of the return journey committed suicide by jumping overboard.[5] His daughter had died suddenly while he was away, and it was thought that this news might have been a factor in his own death.[6] Piesse had married been twice, firstly to Margaret Mary Chipper in 1897, with whom he had three children. He was widowed in 1902, and remarried in 1904 to Lille Johnston, with whom he had another two children.[1] One of his sons, Edmund Piesse, became a Country Party senator, but like his father committed suicide while in office.[7]


  1. ^ a b Arnold Edmund Piesse – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN 0730984095.
  3. ^ "NEW MEMBERS' CAREERS.", The West Australian, 14 April 1930.
  4. ^ "KATANNING.", The West Australian, 5 April 1930.
  5. ^ "Liner's tragic voyage from England", The Advertiser, 2 August 1935.
  6. ^ "MR. A. E. PIESSE, M.L.A.", The West Australian, 24 July 1935.
  7. ^ PIESSE, EDMUND STEPHEN ROPER (1900–1952), The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate (Online Edition). Retrieved 20 September 2016.