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Fast facts: John Curtin

Personal profile

John Joseph CURTIN

Born:

8 January 1885, Creswick, Victoria

Education:

St Ambrose’s Primary, Brunswick, Melbourne

Employment:

clerk, union organiser, journalist

Memberships:

Trades Unions; Australian Journalists Association (c.1917– ); Workers Education Association

Marriage:

21 April 1917, West Leederville, Perth

Children:

Elsie (1917); John (1921)

Died:

5 July 1945

Buried:

Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth

Honours:

Privy Councillor (1942)

Elsie CURTIN (née NEEDHAM)

Born:

4 October 1890, Ballarat, Victoria

Memberships:

Australian Labor Party; Labor Women (1917–75); Australian Red Cross Society; Western Australia Labor Women’s Organisation; Royal Association of Justices; Women Justices Association

Died:

24 June 1975, Cottesloe, Perth

Honours:

JP (1955); CBE (1970)

Political profile

Party:

Australian Labor Party

Terms as PM:

7 October 1941 – 5 July 1945

Terms as MP:

House of Representatives: 6 February 1929 – 19 December 1931 and 23 October 1934 – 5 July 1945 (Fremantle)
Leader of the Opposition: October 1935 – 7 October 1941

Portfolios:

Defence Coordination: 7 October 1941 – 14 April 1942
Defence: 14 April 1942 – 5 July 1945

After:

died in office

Quiz facts

  • the only Prime Minister to have been in gaol (as an anti-conscriptionist in 1916)
  • one of only two PMs (Bob Hawke was the other) from Western Australia, though it was the birthplace of neither
  • he held no ministerial posts before taking office
  • he opposed conscription during WW I, but introduced limited overseas service for conscripts in WW II
  • he was one of the three PMs who died in office (Joseph Lyons died in 1939 and Harold Holt in 1967), but Curtin was the only one to die at The Lodge
  • he neither owned nor drove a car
  • the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library was Australia’s first prime ministerial library

Plus

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