He was born in Sofala, New South Wales, Australia. He started working at an early age as gold miner in Australia. In 1903 he was involved in a miner's strike in Victoria Australia. The strike was defeated and Semple ended up being blacklisted.
To avoid the blacklist Semple moved to the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. By 1907 he was president of the Runanga Miner's Union and earned himself nickname 'Fighting Bob Semple'.
He was jailed in 1913 for supporting the general strike and again in 1916 after fighting conscription for overseas service during World War I.
Read more about this topic: Bob Semple
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