Biographical entry Kent Hughes, Wilfrid Selwyn (Billy) (1895 - 1970)


12 June 1895
East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
31 July 1970
Kew, Victoria, Australia
Politician and Soldier


Wilfrid Selwyn (Billy) Kent Hughes was a soldier and politician. He enlisted in the first AIF in 1914 and served with the Light Horse. Kent Hughes was member for Kew in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1927-49. He formed the Young Nationalist Organisation with Menzies in 1930. A controversial figure, Kent Hughes described himself as 'a Fascist - without a shirt' in 1933. He was captured at the fall of Singapore in February 1942 and was a prisoner of war in Taiwan and Manchuria. Elected member for Chisholm (Victoria) for the Liberal Party, Kent Hughes served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1970. He was Minister for the Interior (1951-56), Minister for Works and Housing (1951-52) and Minister for Works (1952-1956). He was also appointed chairman of the organising committee of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Menzies dropped Kent Hughes from the ministry after the 1955 election. He continued to serve in parliament and remained loyal to the Liberal Party, albeit as an outspoken and maverick member.


Hancock, I.R. Kent Hughes, Sir Wilfrid Selwyn (Billy) (1895-1970), Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Published in hard copy 2000, accessed online 15 December 2012.

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