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Thomas (Bondy) Hoare (1877–1942)

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Thomas Hoare, c.1930, Fairfax Corporation

Thomas Hoare, c.1930, Fairfax Corporation

National Library of Australia, 42772709

Thomas (Bondy) Hoare (1877-1942) coalminer, Socialist propagandist and trade union leader 

Birth: 11 May 1877 at Minmi, Newcastle, New South Wales, son of James Hoare (1852-1922), a coalminer born at Evercreech, Somerset, England, and brought up at Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales, and his second wife, native-born Hannah Reynolds, servant. Marriage: 8 March 1901 at West Wallsend, New South Wales, to native-born Ida Ethel Fisher (1888-1967). They had no children. Death: 22 June 1942 at Newcastle, NSW. Religion: None. Socialist eulogy at his funeral. 

  • Entered mines at age of 13, working at Pacific Colliery and later West Wallsend. Life-long socialist propagandist and supporter of direct action. Member of Socialist Labor Party (SLP)  c.1897. Senate candidate for SLP 1901.
  • Strong anti-conscriptionist 1916. SLP candidate for State seat of Newcastle 1922. Succeeded J. M. Baddeley as president of Northern District of Australasian Coal & Shale Employees' Federation 1922, but was simultaneously expelled from SLP for 'accepting office in a counter-revolutionary organisation’.
  • Played leading role in ‘Major Crane’ strike, northern NSW coalfields 1922-23. Prominent role in Federation's first National Convention, 1925. At second Convention in Sydney in 1928 opposed A. C. Willis' defence of arbitration with call for general strike.
  • Also in 1928, revealed to lodge meeting at Stockton Borehole that over a 14 month period he had received £600 from mine owners as incentive to keep mine in production. Subsequently cleared of any malpractice by Northern Board of Management, having taken money, in agreement with secretary J. B. Simpson, with view to eventual exposure of owners' tactics.
  • Critical of D. J. Davies and other Federation central executive members for their handling of the 1929 Northern lock-out, but failed to put forward consistent alternative.
  • Leading figure in 1929 Rothbury demonstration, ‘riot’ and police shootings.
  • Lost Northern presidency briefly in 1933 after being denounced by Communists as a ‘Left phrase monger’. Was an opponent of C. Nelson and W. Orr. Supporter J. T. Lang throughout 1930s. A Miners’ Federation delegate to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1936.
  • One of the federation's most colourful leaders, with reputation for delivering marathon polemical speeches.
  • Retired from presidency through ill health in December 1940, having served a total of seventeen years in post. On retirement, presented with inscribed medal by Federation Central Council.
  • His friend and associate E. A. Sinclair gave Socialist eulogy at his funeral.

Common Cause
, 9 November 1940, 27 June 1942; obituary Tribune (Sydney), 1 July 1942, p 4 []; Robin Gollan, The coalminers of New South Wales: a history of the Union (Melbourne, 1963; Edgar Ross, A history of the Miners' Federation of Australia ([Sydney], 1970); information from E. Ross, 1990.

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Citation details

'Hoare, Thomas (Bondy) (1877–1942)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Thomas Hoare, c.1930, Fairfax Corporation

Thomas Hoare, c.1930, Fairfax Corporation

National Library of Australia, 42772709

Life Summary [details]


11 May, 1877
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


22 June, 1942 (aged 65)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

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