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Fascinating facts

A showcase of revealing records of prime ministers’ lives.

Hughes’ half-century

When WM Hughes died on 28 October 1952 at the age of 90, he had been a member of the House of Representatives for 50 years, from the 1st Parliament in 1901, to the 20th Parliament in 1952.

Some 300,000 people lined the route of the funeral procession as the coffin was borne on a gun-carriage to St Andrew’s Cathedral in George Street, Sydney.

Hughes was buried in the grave of his youngest daughter, Helen, and when Dame Mary Hughes died in 1958 she was also buried in this grave.

A granite headstone marks the grave, in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs Cemetery. At the foot was planted a bush of rosemary, for remembrance.

The grave of William Morris Hughes.

The grave of William Morris Hughes.

NAA: A6180, 10/9/73/5

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Did you know ...

Nine of Australia's prime ministerial wives received Imperial honours for their public work. Two (Pattie Deakin and Elsie Curtin) were made Commander of the British Empire (CBE); three (Mary Cook, Enid Lyons and Zara Holt) were made Dame of the British Empire (DBE); and three received the highest British award for women, the Grand Dame of the British Empire (GBE) – Florence Reid, Mary Hughes and Pattie Menzies. Two prime ministerial wives have received the Order of Australia – Margaret Whitlam and Hazel Hawke.

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