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Harold Edward Cohen (1881–1946)

from Age

Mr. Harold Edward Cohen, for many years well known in Victorian legal, business, political and military circles, died at his home in Queen's-road, last night. He was 64 years of age.

Mr. Cohen was the senior partner of Pavey, Wilson and Cohen, solicitors. He was president of the Australian Brewers' Association and the Victorian Associated Brewers; chairman of directors of Carlton and United Breweries Ltd., Swan Brewery Co. Ltd., Shamrock Brewing and Malting Co. Pty. Ltd., and the Foster Brewing Co. Ltd.; chairman of the Manufacturers' Bottle Co. of Victoria Pty. Ltd., Zinc Investments Limited, Associated Pulp and Paper Ltd., and Standard Mutual Building Society, the Electrolytic Zinc Co. of Australia Ltd., and a director of the Carlton Brewery Ltd., of Minerals Separation and de Bavay's Processes. Aust. Pty. Ltd., and Glazebrooks (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

As a politician, Mr. Cohen represented Melbourne South Province in the Legislative Council from 1929 to 1935, and Caulfield in the Legislative Assembly from 1935 to 1943. In 1932 he was an Honorary Minister and Victorian delegate to the Loan Council. In 1935 he was Solicitor-General and Minister for Education. 

A brigadier in the Australian Military Forces, Mr. Cohen got his first commission in 1901 in the Field Artillery. He was promoted captain in 1905, and then for several years served with the Australian Intelligence Corps. At the outbreak of the first World War he was a major in an Australian Field Artillery Brigade. He served abroad as commanding officer of the 6th Field Artillery Brigade from 1915 to 1919 with the rank of Colonel. He was awarded the D.S.O.; twice mentioned in despatches and created C.M.G. He was commander of 4th Division Artillery from 1921 to 1926, immediately thereafter taking over command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. He was placed on the unattached list at his own request in 1927 prior to entering Parliament. During the recent war he served in the Middle East an Honorary Australian Red Cross Commissioner, and later as Director of Army Amenities.

Born on November 25, 1881, Mr. Cohen was educated at Xavier College and Melbourne University where he won the Bowen prize in 1900, the Law prize in 1901, and the Supreme Court prize in 1904. He was president of the Law Students' Society and vice-president of the Melbourne University Historical Society. He has been twice president of the Old Xaverians' Association. He played cricket, football, tennis and lacrosse, and rowed with the Mercantile club. He was Chief Commissioner of the Boy Scouts' Association, and for many years a member of the executive and chairman of the finance branch of the State Returned Soldiers' League.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Harold Edward Cohen

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Cohen, Harold Edward (1881–1946)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


25 November, 1881
St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


29 October, 1946 (aged 64)
South Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (brain)

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations