Hodges, Frank

A trade unionist and parliamentarian, born at Woolaston, Glos. on 30 August 1887. At an early age he moved to South Wales. At 14 he found employment in an Abertillery pit where the mine officials sponsored his attendance at a night school class. Inspired by Evan Roberts in the Welsh Revival, at 16 he joined the Primitive Methodists and then became a Local Preacher, and also joined the Independent Labour Party. As a trade unionist he was sent to Ruskin College, Oxford from 1909 to 1911. Then, after a brief spell in Paris, he returned to the pit as a hewer. He studied to beomce a PM minister but failed his trial sermon, claiming that he was not sufficiently orthodox on the subject of eternal punishment.

His application aged 24 for the post of trade union agent for the Gawr District of the South Wales Miners Federation was accepted and then in 1919 became the Federation's General Secretary. In 1923 was elected as the Labour member for Lichfield, continuing until 1929, during which time he held the post of First Lord of the Admiralty. Increasingly seen by the Miners Federation as a moderate he was forced out of the Secretaryship. He became a member of the Central Electricity Board in 1926. He died on 3 June 1947.

  • F. Hodges, My Adventures as a Labour Leader (1925)
  • R.F. Wearmouth, The Social and Political Influence of Methodism in the Twentieth century (1957)

Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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