Skip to main content

William Lyon correspondence.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-A-29

Scope and Contents

Correspondence with J.T. Head, a friend and NZ Labour Party official in Waitemata, relates to the activities of the Democratic Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party annual conference of 1940 (the year of John A. Lee's expulsion) and also to the war.

The collection consists of seven letters by William John Lyon, one letter by J.T. Head and a memo about the letters from J.T. head. The letters were given to Dr Michael Bassett of the Department of History, University of Auckland, a Labour Party parliamentary candidate, who donated them to the University Library in 1970.


  • 1939 - 1941


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

William John Lyon was born in England in 1898, served in the Great War and later migrated to New Zealand. He was a member of the New Zealand Labour Party since the war. In 1928 he contested the Hawkes' Bay electorate and served on several local bodies until he moved to Auckland. Lyon won the Waitemata seat for the Labour Party in the 1935 and 1938 general elections and retained it until his death on 25 May 1941, on active service in the Middle East.

Lyon was a backbencher who held monetary reform views and was not greatly popular with the Party leadership. After the expulsion of John. A. Lee his name was associated with the Democratic Labour Party. However, in these letters to his electoral organiser and friend J.T.Head he vigorously denies any communication with Lee and his associates.


0.01 metres (1 folder.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mr J.T. Head, 1970.


NRAM A859.

Inventory of the William Lyon correspondence, 1939-1941.
M.D. Coleman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand