Glen Mitchell: The Man Who Isn't There

Glen Mitchell: The Man Who Isn’t There: The Curious Case of Francis Hugh Snow

Francis Hugh Snow made a significant contribution to the development of the Australian non-ferrous metals industry. His Adelaide metal broking firm connected him to large German companies through the sale of ores and copper products. Apart from one matter, his life is largely unremembered. When the High Court of Australia convicted Snow of allegedly trading with the enemy during World War One, his business acumen, his international contacts and his knowledge of the metals business were used to secure the Court’s conviction.

But who was this threat to the nation’s security in a time of war?

This paper has two parts. The first attempts to reconstruct Snow’s life and place his conviction in the broader context of Billy Hughes’ plan to destroy Germany’s dominance of the world metal market. The second explores the difficulties involved in this task.

Glenn Mitchell is an Honorary Senior Fellow in History at the University of Wollongong where he was Sub Dean (1998-2001) and Convenor, History Program (2004-2013). In 2013, he was a Visiting professor, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He has received numerous local and national awards for teaching. He is currently writing a history of the health consequences of the British atomic tests at Maralinga and A History of Wollongong in 101 Objects.  He has a regular history program on ABC Illawarra and is a member of the NSW Working Party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He is a serious student of drums and a passionate supporter of Liverpool Football Team.

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Date & time

Thu 30 Jun 2022, 11am


Seminar Room 5.72, Level 5, RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Cres, ANU


Glen Mitchell

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National Centre of Biography


Sam Furphy


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