Francis Michael Forde

Frank Forde (1890-1983) was Prime Minister for only a week, after the death of John Curtin. Ironically, Forde had almost won the Labor leadership in 1935, following the resignation of Scullin. Forde was already deputy leader, and was experienced, well-liked and hard-working.

In his first years in parliament Curtin had personal difficulties, and lost his seat in the Labor rout of 1931. He returned in 1934 with the past put behind him. Even so, Forde came within one vote of the leadership. He stood again after Curtin’s death, and was defeated by Ben Chifley.

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6 July 1945

Frank Forde becomes Prime Minister

John Curtin dies in office, six weeks before the end of the war in the Pacific. Labor’s deputy leader, Frank Forde, replaces him as Prime Minister for just eight days while the Labor Party elects a new leader. For more information, visit the Australian Prime Ministers Centre.


Frank Forde c.1945.