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Horace Joseph (Horrie) Hurst (1889–1989)

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Horace Joseph (Horrie) Hurst (1889-1989) sheet metal worker and trade union official 

Birth: 28 April 1889 at Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, son of Joseph Garside Hurst (1849-1919), sawyer and labourer, and Mary Ann Luckman (1862-1961). Marriage: 18 July 1912 in the Methodist Manse at Adelaide, South Australia, to native-born Emma Eliza Martin (1890-1972), domestic servant. They had one son. Death: 6 August 1989 in a nursing home at Morphettville, Adelaide, SA; usual residence Austral Terrace, Morphettville. 

  • Gained trade as tinsmith and member of Birmingham Sheetmetal Workers and Coppersmiths’ Union.
  • Emigrated to Australian in 1910 and was promised employment with A. M. Simpson and Sons. On their arrival in Australia workers were met by a union deputation which informed them they were to be employed to break a long-running dispute at that company. The immigrants convened a meeting at the dock side and a decision was made to repay Simpson’s for the trip and thereafter to take up employment with Colton Palmer and Preston, another Adelaide union shop.
  • President of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union for an unbroken period of fifty-six years until amalgamation when the position of president became full-time. Remained a shop steward at age of 72.
  • Trades and Labour Council delegate for a continuous period of sixty-one years.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party. Committee member, Retired Members’ Association.
  • He was involved in campaigns on the rights of women in defence industries work through both the first and second world wars.
  • Cause of death: cerebro vascular accident (hours), and atherosclerosis (years).

Metal Worker
, June 1990, p 7.

Citation details

'Hurst, Horace Joseph (Horrie) (1889–1989)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


28 April, 1889
Birmingham, West Midlands, England


6 August, 1989 (aged 100)
Morphettville, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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