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Sir Henry Bruce Lefroy (Nationalist)

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Sir Henry Lefroy 28 June 1917 to 17 April 1919

Sir Henry Lefroy was born into a prominent settler family in the colony. His father was a well-known public official before the days of responsible government, holding the positions of Secretary to Governor Fitzgerald and Colonial Treasurer.

Sir Henry was born in 1854 in Perth and attended Mrs McKnight's school in St Georges Terrace before going to school in England. He was a good scholar and sportsman, particularly at cricket. When he returned to WA in 1873 he went to manage his father's station on the Victoria Plains, near Moora. It was the beginning of a
30-year association with the area as a Victoria Plains Road Board member and its chairman for 21 years.

In 1892, he entered Parliament as the MLA for Moore. Interestingly there were fewer than 100 voters in the electorate.

In 1897, he was appointed Minister for Education in the Forrest Cabinet and later Minister for Mines. In 1901, he was sent to London as WA's Agent General for three years after he decided not to seek re-election that year. But five years later and back in WA he decided to stand for the seat of Moore again - and won.

He was keenly interested in his electorate's local affairs and was elected chairman of the Moora Road Board when it was first established in 1909 until 1917. He was appointed Minister for Lands and Agriculture in the second Wilson government in 1916.

In 1917, the ALP split over the issue of conscription and Lefroy was thrust into the Premiership, leading a National Government based on a coalition of ALP defectors, led by John Scaddan.
His knighthood came in the 1919 New Year's Honours list, though he was to resign as Premier a few months later because of mounting pressure that he lacked the skills of a strong leader.

His time as Premier saw the First World War end. After his resignation he remained the MLA for Moore but was defeated at the polls two years later. He died nine years later, in 1930, at the age of 76.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.