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Horace John Hawkins (1869–1957)

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Horace John Hawkins (1869-1957) journalist and radical Socialist activist 

Birth: 3 July 1869 and baptized on 4 August at St Stephens Anglican Church, Bow, London, son of William Horatio Hawkins (1819-1895), master mariner, and Alice Sarah, née Hopper (1845-1933), a school mistress. Marriages: (1) 8 October 1904 in the parish church, Grays Inn Road, London, to English-born Laura Mary Evelyn Campbell (1873-1933), daughter of Francis Norman Campbell, a saw-mill proprietor and property owner at Longwood, near Aldgate, South Australia. They had one son. The marriage ended in divorce in 1913. (2) 7 February 1914 at Brisbane, Queensland, to Brisbane-born Alice Adeline Baker (1888-1953). They had one son. Death: 18 July 1957 at Brisbane, Queensland. 

  • Was a clerk at Leyton in Essex, England, in 1891.
  • It seems likely that he was the Horace J. Hawkins who was an inaugural member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904 after being expelled from the British Social Democratic Federation.
  • Involved in Barrier Socialist Group (BSG) (Broken Hill, New South Wales). With Robert Samuel Ross, argued in the Barrier Truth and the Flame that Socialists should work within the Labor Party, but was more conciliatory than Ross towards the anti-reformist stance of the De Leonist Socialist Labor Party.
  • With Ross, Harry Scott Bennett and Tom Mann represented BSG at socialist unity conference held in Melbourne in mid-1907, moving motion in support of the adoption of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) principles, With Harry Holland and Tom Mann formed a sub-committee which drew up a manifesto for Socialist Federation of Australia (SFA).
  • To Sydney in October 1907 to work with Holland on International Socialist. Represented BSG on SFA Executive, remaining in this position until mid-1908.
  • Resigned from SFA to join Socialist Labor Party in late 1908.
  • General Secretary of IWW NSW State Executive in 1910, resigning in September 1911.
  • Moved to Queensland in 1913.
  • Not known to have any connexion with politics thereafter. Worked in various occupations, including hotel manager and as a journalist.

Merrifield Card Index, State Library of Victoria; Verity Burgmann, Revolutionary Industrial Unionism: The Industrial Workers of the World in Australia (Melbourne, 1995); R. Sharpe MA thesis, 2003.

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Citation details

'Hawkins, Horace John (1869–1957)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


3 July, 1869
London, Middlesex, England


18 July, 1957 (aged 88)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Key Organisations
Political Activism