George Bretnall

Builder, Contractor

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Alexandria 1868 1875
Mayor Alexandria 1872 1873
Alderman Waterloo 1883 1883
  • Alexandria Town Hall in 1943 (Alexandria, 'the Birmingham of Australia': 75 years of progress, 1868-1943, published by Alexandria Municipal Council, 1943).

Family background

George Bretnall was born 25 November 1816 in Brandon, Suffolk, England, son of George Bretnall and Mary Ann. He married (1) Charlotte Bunking (1816-46) in 1840 in Shoreditch, Middlesex. There were two children, Charlotte and George. After his first wife’s death in 1846 in Hackney, London, George married (2) Sarah Ann Parrett in 1849 in Shoreditch, Middlesex and there were two children from this marriage, William and Frederick. In 1855 George Bretnall and his family immigrated to Sydney on board the vessel ’Constitution’ as Assisted Immigrants; they arrived 14 July 1855. Sarah Ann Bretnall died in 1857 in Chippendale. Bretnall again married (3) Elizabeth Nelson (nee Robinson) (1814-95) on 7 January 1859 at the Congregational Church, Cleveland Street, Redfern. George Bretnall died at his residence in Smith Street, Summer Hill, on 2 January 1887, aged 71 years. He was buried in the Independent Old Ground at Rookwood Cemetery.  He left no Will. George Bretnall, builder, lived at 40 Botany Road, Alexandria in 1883.

Occupation & interests

He was a partner is a building company Bretnall & Poulton with A Poulton, based at 35-37 Botany Road, Waterloo.

Community activity

George Bretnall was a Freemason and a member of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, Sydney. He was at one stage Deputy District Master and was also District Secretary in the early 1880s.


Local government service

George Bretnall was an alderman on Alexandria Council 1868-75. He served as mayor in 1872-73. He was an alderman on Waterloo Council in 1883.


‘The Borough of Alexandria’, Sydney Mail, 10 October 1868, p. 5,

‘Council Nominations Borough of Waterloo’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 1883, p. 3,


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