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Abbott, Percy Phipps (1869 - 1940)

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Born: 14 May 1869  Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  Died: 9 September 1940  Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.

Personal and official business papers of Capt. Percy Phipps Abbott, later Senator Abbott re: his involvement in military exercises, as a solicitor for the Peel River Land & Mineral Co. (Goonoo Goonoo) and as alderman then Mayor for Glen Innes council also his part in the Armidale New State Movement.

Career Highlights
Abbott was educated at the Hutchins School in Hobart from 1878 to 1887 then articled to a Sydney solicitor in 1889, being admitted to practice on 2 June 1894. He had bought a practice in Glen Innes in late 1893 and on 2 September 1901 married widow Elizabeth Matilda Ross at Tamworth, daughter of G.B. Gidley King of Goonoo Goonoo.

An active sportsman, Abbott was secretary of the Northern Border Cricket Association, president of the Glen Innes Rifle Club, an enthusiastic trout fisherman and racehorse breeder. He was an alderman on the Glen Innes Municipal Council from 1898 to 1904 and in 1906-14 and 1910-13 he was mayor and president of the hospital board. In 1913 he was elected to the House of Representatives as a Liberal and represented New England until he resigned in 1919. His interests as a politician were tariffs, decentralisation, and industrial lawlessness.

In 1898 Abbott had joined the 4th Infantry Regiment and in 1903 transferred to the 5th Australian Light Horse (New England) and two years later to the 6th (Hunter River Lancers). He was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the AIF in March 1915 and sailed for Egypt in charge of the 12th Light Horse. In October 1915 he was evacuated to England suffering from enteric fever. He was appointed CMG in June 1917 and served in France that year with the 63rd and 30th Battalions, being mentioned in despatches. After resuming command of the 12th Light Horse in 1917, he was returned to Australia on medical grounds in April 1918 and subsequently released from the AIF. In 1919 he was awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration.

Abbott re-established his legal practice in 1919 and was president of the Northern New State Movement from 1920. He was elected as the Country Party candidate for the Senate in 1925 but lost in 1928. In 1927-29 he sat on the royal commission on the constitution. In 1932 he moved to Tamworth where he soon re-established a legal practice and was a member of the Union and Civic clubs in Sydney. In 1939-40 he was commandant of Tamworth civil defence. He is buried at the Church of England cemetery at Glen Innes.

[Brief Biography compiled by Robin Hammond, January/February 2004]

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: James Crowley
Created: 3 December 2003
Modified: 6 July 2006

Published by The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, 5 April 2004
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 23 February 2010

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