Walter Marks

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This article is about a politician. For the composer, see Walter Marks (composer). For the American sportman, coach and college athletics administrator, see Walter E. Marks.
Walter Marks
Walter Marks.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wentworth
In office
13 December 1919 – 19 December 1931
Preceded by Willie Kelly
Succeeded by Eric Harrison
Personal details
Born (1875-06-06)6 June 1875
Jamberoo, New South Wales
Died 31 March 1951(1951-03-31) (aged 75)
Paddington, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Nationalist (1919–29)
Independent (1929–31)
UAP (1931)
Spouse(s) Florence Sandford
Occupation Solicitor

Walter Moffitt Marks (6 June 1875 – 31 March 1951) was an Australian lawyer, yachtsman and politician.


Marks was born in Culwulla House, Jamberoo, New South Wales and educated at Sydney Grammar School. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1902. In September 1901 he married Florence Sandford. As a result of an inheritance in 1912, he was able to partly finance the building of his chambers, the twelve-storey Culwulla Chambers in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, the tallest building in central Sydney until after World War II. He won most major Australian yachting trophies in Culwulla I-IV, and participated in the trials of Sir Thomas Lipton's America's Cup challenger, Shamrock IV in 1914. In World War I he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and served as a lieutenant in the North Sea and English Channel, commanded a gunnery school in Wales and returned to Australia in 1918 to encourage military recruitment.[1]

Marks was elected as a Nationalist member for the seat of Wentworth in 1919. He made a notorious speech predicting that Armageddon would be initiated in 1934 when the British navy collected the Jewish people to take them to a Palestine. Billy Hughes made him honorary under-secretary "to assist the prime minister especially in the administration of the mandated territories and shipping" in December 1921 in order to head off pressure to appoint him Minister for the Navy, but Stanley Bruce abolished this position in 1923. He took a strong interest in foreign affairs, aviation and the film industry. He was one of seven Nationalists, including Billy Hughes, who voted to bring down the Bruce government, forcing the 1929 election. Although he lost Nationalist Party endorsement, he won the election. He was defeated at the 1931 election by Eric Harrison, although both had United Australia Party endorsement. Marks died following surgery in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, survived by a son and a daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lloyd, C. J. (1986). "Marks, Walter Moffitt (1875 - 1951)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 19 September 2007. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Willie Kelly
Member for Wentworth
Succeeded by
Eric Harrison