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Fast facts: Francis Forde

Personal profile

Francis Michael FORDE

Born:

18 July 1890, Mitchell, Queensland

Education:

Christian Brothers College, Toowoomba, Queensland

Employment:

teacher, railway clerk, electrical engineer

Memberships:

Roman Catholic Church; Australian Natives Association; Irish National Association

Marriage:

25 February 1925, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

Children:

Mary (1928); Mercia (1930); Clare (1932); Gerard (1935)

Died:

28 January 1983, St Lucia, Brisbane

Buried:

Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane

Honours:

Privy Councillor (1944)

Veronica (Vera) Catherine FORDE (née O’REILLY)

Born:

1894, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

Died:

9 November 1967, St Lucia, Brisbane (buried Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane)

Political profile

Terms as PM:

6–13 July 1945

Terms as MP:

Queensland Legislative Assembly: 1917–22 (Rockhampton); 1955–57 (Flinders)
House of Representatives: 28 February 1923 – 31 October 28 September 1946 (Capricornia)

Portfolios:

Assisting Trade and Customs: 22 October 1929 – 4 February 1931
Trade and Customs: 4 February 1931 – 6 January 1932
Army: 7 October 1941 – 1 November 1946
Defence: 15 August – 1 November 1946

Political memberships:

Australian Labor Party 1917–83; Advisory War Council 29 October 1940 – 31 August 1945

After:

Australian High Commissioner to Canada 1946–53

Quiz facts

  • his prime ministerial term of eight days is the shortest in Australian history
  • in 1935 he lost the Labor Party leadership ballot by one vote to John Curtin and in 1957 lost his State seat also by only one vote
  • Forde was 92 years old when he died, making him Australia’s second longest-lived Prime Minister
  • in 1945 he led Australia’s delegation to the conference in San Francisco to set up the United Nations
  • remembered in his home state as the man who erased the ‘Brisbane line’, though he denied the 1942 War Cabinet had discussed concentrating Australia’s defences south of Brisbane if Japan invaded the north

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