Tom Seddon

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Tom Seddon
Tom Seddon.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Westland
In office
1906 – 1922
Preceded byRichard Seddon
Succeeded byJames O'Brien
In office
1925 – 1928
Preceded byJames O'Brien
Succeeded byJames O'Brien
Personal details
Born(1884-07-02)2 July 1884
Kumara, New Zealand
Died22 January 1972(1972-01-22) (aged 89)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Beatrice Ann Wood
ParentsRichard Seddon
Louisa Spotswood
RelativesElizabeth Gilmer (sister)
Alma materVictoria University

Thomas Edward Youd "Tom" Seddon (2 July 1884 – 22 January 1972) was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party, and a lawyer in Greymouth. He was the son of New Zealand's longest-serving Prime Minister Richard Seddon, and succeeded his father as MP for Westland following his death in 1906.

Early life[edit]

Seddon was born in Kumara in 1884. His parents were Richard and Louisa Jane Seddon (née Spotswood). He was educated at Kumara School, the Terrace School (Wellington), Wellington College, and Victoria University College.[1] He graduated in law, and joined the practice of John Findlay and Frederick George Dalziell,[1] and then became a barrister and solicitor in Greymouth.

He served in the New Zealand Army in World War I from 1915 to 1919. Because he received a leg injury in a rugby game "behind the trenches" he was not gassed like the rest of his unit. Later he was chairman of the War Pensions Board, from 1930 to 1963, and in World War II he was Captain of the Wadestown Home Guard.[2]

He married Beatrice Ann Wood on 15 March 1922 at St Mary's Church in the Christchurch suburb of Merivale. Guests at the wedding included Robert Loughnan, Joseph Grimmond, George Fowlds, and Joseph Ward.[3]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1906–1908 16th Westland Liberal
1908–1911 17th Westland Liberal
1911–1914 18th Westland Liberal
1914–1919 19th Westland Liberal
1919–1922 20th Westland Liberal
1925–1928 22nd Westland Liberal
1928 Changed allegiance to: United

He inherited the Westland electorate on the sudden death of his father Richard Seddon in the 1906 by-election after he had just turned 22. He held the electorate to 1922, when he was defeated by James O'Brien of the Labour Party. He won it back in 1925, but lost it again in 1928 when he was again defeated by O'Brien.[4]

He was chairman of the War Pensions Board from 1930 to 1963, having served in the New Zealand Army in World War I,

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[5] His son, Dick Seddon, was for several decades electorate secretary and organiser for the New Zealand National Party.[6]


Tom Seddon with members of his family in circa 1929

His autobiography was published in 1968:

  • Seddon, Thomas Edward Youd (1968). The Seddons: An Autobiography. Auckland, London: Collins.

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The New Member". The Press. LXII (12545). 14 July 1906. p. 9. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  2. ^ Bremner, Julie (1987). Wellington’s Northern Suburbs 1919-1945. Wellington: Millwood Press. pp. 113, 117. ISBN 0-908582-80-3.
  3. ^ "Women in Print". The Evening Post. CIII (62). 16 March 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 233. OCLC 154283103.
  5. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  6. ^ "King Dick Outlasted Winston Peters". 9 November 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2015.


  • Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1925) [First published in 1908]. Who's who in New Zealand and the western Pacific (2nd ed.). Masterton: Guy Scholefield.
  • Who’s Who in New Zealand (1968, 9th edition)

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Richard Seddon
Member of Parliament for Westland
Succeeded by
James O'Brien
Preceded by
James O'Brien