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Nellie Alice Hook (1890–1969)

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Nellie Alice Hook, née Absalom (1890-1969) Labor activist

Birth: 12 December 1890 and baptised on 25 January 1891 at All Saints Church, Southend-on-sea, Essex, England, daughter of William Absalom (1837-1901), oyster merchant, and his second wife Harriet, née Nicholls (1859-1908). Marriage: 1917 at Liverpool, New South Wales, to Christopher Young Hook (1883-1968), soldier, labourer, later lantern operator, born at Clerkenwell, London, England. Death: 9 June 1969 at Campsie, Sydney, New South Wales, usual residence Blairgowrie street, Dulwich Hill, Sydney, N.S.W. 

  • In 1911 Nellie, 17, was living at Prittlewell, Essex, with her widowed half-sister Emma and Emma’s family and working as shop assistant to a draper.
  • She had arrived in Sydney with a brother Henry William, a builder, and sister Mary by 1913 and that year was living with them at Dulwich Hill.
  • Her husband had served in the British Army — Royal Artillery — for eight years and arrived in Australia about 1910. He became a militant Communist. From 1923 until defeated in 1926 he was an organiser then secretary of the NSW branch of the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union.
  • Nellie joined the Australian Labor Party when the timber workers were on strike (1929) and assisted Labor women in setting up canteens.
  • She was a member of special committee set up during the Depression by the Labor Women’s Central Organising Committee (LWCOC)  to seek ways of housing homeless women.
  • Treasurer of LWCOC from 1943 to about 1964. President, Summer Hill ALP Social Committee.

Information from Sue Tracey 1997; ALP Women Magazine Special Diamond Jubilee Issue, February 1964.

Citation details

'Hook, Nellie Alice (1890–1969)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Absalom, Nellie Alice

12 December, 1890
Essex, England


9 June, 1969 (aged 78)
Campsie, Sydney, New South Wales, 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.

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