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Herbert Thatcher papers

Identifier: MSS-Archives-A-53

Scope and Contents

Papers include correspondence relating to Herbert Thatcher's non- payment of the General Unemployment Levy, 1932-1935; New Zealand Timber Workers' Union records; reminiscences of Mount Eden Prison; eight volumes of newspaper clippings; letters from Lincoln Efford; and 1943 election ephemera and letters to Thatcher concerning pacifism and social reform.


  • 1920s -1938


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Edward Thatcher was born in Bristol, England in 1904 and came to New Zealand with his parents, Herbert Deane Thatcher and Elizabeth Kate Thatcher (nee Vine), between 1911 and 1914. The family settled in Ohakune where his father worked as a labourer possibly with the railways.

During the 1920s and 1940s Thatcher worked in the timber industry in the Ohakune, National Park area. He was a pacifist, a member of the Timber Workers Union, the Auckland Peace Union and possibly the New Zealand Communist Party.

In 1933 frustrated by the lack of work and support for the unemployed he threw a rock through the window of the Government Tourist Office and was arrested and goaled for three months in Mt Eden Prison. The collection includes his account of this period, including his explaination for his actions and conditions in the Prison.

In 1937 he married in Evelyn Doris Strong. Thatcher died in Auckland in June 1962 aged 58.


0.08 metres (Housed in two archive boxes, one containing files and small scrapbooks, the other, two outsize scrapbooks.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs H. E. Thatcher, 1969.

Related Materials

Herbert Thatcher further papers. MSS & Archives Vault 48.


NRAM B960.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand