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Hyman, Arthur Wellesley (1880–1947)

by L. E. Fredman

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

Arthur Wellesley Hyman (1880-1947), solicitor and soldier, was born on 18 June 1880 at Tamworth, New South Wales, eldest child of Lewis Hyam Hyman, a London-born merchant, and his Sydney-born wife Sara, née Lev(e)y. He was educated at Tamworth and at The Armidale School where he played in the cricket and Rugby teams. He was articled to a Sydney solicitor Mark Mitchell in 1898 and was admitted on 21 November 1903; he practised in Sydney until 1914. At the Great Synagogue he married Zara Herrmann on 25 May 1904; they lived at Neutral Bay.

Commissioned in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment on 19 September 1910, Hyman enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on the outbreak of World War I. He was transferred to the 7th Light Horse and in December 1914 was promoted captain. He took part in the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April next year and later served in Egypt and Sinai. Major from August 1916, he was claims officer at 4th Division Headquarters in France and Belgium for two years. Twice mentioned in dispatches, he was appointed O.B.E. on 1 January 1919. Early that year he served on Lieutenant-General Sir John Monash's staff in London dealing with repatriation; from May he attended lectures of the Council of Legal Education, Lincoln's Inn.

In October 1919 Hyman embarked for Australia. He divorced his wife in March 1921 and on 31 August, at the Great Synagogue, Sydney, married Naida Elizabeth Solomon. In 1922-36 he practised with Bradley, Son & Maughan (Bradley, Son, Maughan, Hyman & Kirkpatrick from 1930) and thereafter on his own. He was a commissioner for affidavits in all States and for the High Courts of Australia and New Zealand.

A diligent worker for ex-servicemen, Hyman was for many years a vice-president, and in 1926-27 and 1940-44, president of the State branch of the Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' (and Airmen's) Imperial League of Australia. Moreover, he was a trustee of the Anzac Memorial, Sydney, a member of the Soldiers' Children Education Board, a council-member of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Red Cross Society and a vice-president of the Legacy Club of Sydney and of the United Service Institution.

Mindful that he belonged to an established Jewish family, Hyman was an active president of the Australian Jewish Historical Society in 1941-44 and delivered to it a paper on Barnett Levey, his maternal great-great-uncle. He was a member of the Board of the Great Synagogue and of the Board of Jewish Education and president and trustee of the Jewish War Memorial. He did much honorary legal work for the many organizations, ex-service and Jewish, that he served. He was also a member of Australia's 150th Anniversary Celebrations Council.

For many years Hyman, a keen surfer, was president of the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club and a vice-president of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia. His only son was drowned in 1930 while trying to rescue a girl in dangerous surf: Hyman later founded a lectureship to his memory in the University of Sydney faculty of law.

Promoted lieutenant-colonel in 1924, Hyman was senior legal staff officer for the 1st Cavalry Division until 1941. In 1944 he retired from legal practice and went to Melbourne as chairman of the Repatriation Assessment Appeal Tribunal. On 31 December 1947 he died of heart disease at his Edgecliff home and was buried in the Jewish section of Rookwood cemetery. He was survived by his second wife and by a daughter of his first marriage.

Select Bibliography

  • Australian Jewish Historical Society, Journal, 2 (1944-48), pt 8
  • Reveille, Feb 1948
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Jan 1948
  • Bulletin, 7 Jan 1948.

Additional Resources

Citation details

L. E. Fredman, 'Hyman, Arthur Wellesley (1880–1947)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 23 March 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

View the front pages for Volume 9

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