Biography | Obituary | Sir Errol Knox - A Tribute | A Daughters Memory

Errol Knox

THE ARGUS – Melbourne

The Directors of The Argus and Australasian Limited have pleasure in announcing the appointment of Mr. Errol G. Knox, M.B.E., as Managing Editor. They have been fortunate in securing the release of Mr. Knox from the “Sydney Morning Herald,” with which he has been associated in an administrative capacity for some time, and he will take up his new duties almost immediately.

With the appointment of Mr. Knox as the chief executive position the company makes a further forward move in its progressive plan.

Few men in Australia have had such a wide and varied experience of all branches of newspaper work as Mr. Knox. He has been a working journalist, has studied the business and mechanical sides of the industry, has had practical experience of advertising activities, and, most important of all, has been managing editor of a large metropolitan paper, which he converted from a heavily losing proposition to a progressive and dividend-paying organization.

Chief Sub-editor at 22

Though Mr. Knox set out in life with the idea of becoming a barrister, he early disclosed a flair for journalism, and at the age of 20 years abandoned his law course at the Sydney University and joined the literary staff of the “Sunday Times,” then a flourishing Sunday paper in Sydney. Within two years he had been appointed chief sub-editor of that journal and of the “Referee.” Being ambitious and realizing the importance of a solid ground work, Mr. Knox in 1913 went to America, where he was fortunate in being able to link up with the Hearst circuit, thus obtaining valuable experience of many phases of newspaper work.

He had been there only for a year, however, when war broke out, and he returned to Australia where, after reorganizing the “Sunday Times” and the “Referee” in the light of the knowledge he had gained in America, he joined the A.I.F. He served until the end of hostilities, was twice mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the M.B.E. in 1918. As a member of the Flying Corps, to which he had transferred from the infantry, Mr. Knox carried out useful organizing work at the front, and was appointed S.O.2, equivalent to G.S.O.2 in ground troops, with the rank of major.

When the war ended he was with the Headquarters Brigade of the Royal Air Force, and was the only member of the A.I.F. holding a general operations staff appointment with that arm. He was responsible for the details of organization for the “March to the Rhine” of the only Air Force Brigade to reach Cologne.

Returning to Australia, Mr. Knox was appointed chief sub-editor of “Smith’s Weekly” in February, 1920, subsequently being promoted to the position of managing editor, involving complete control of the business, editorial and mechanical departments. After successfully accomplishing the task of reorganization, Mr. Knox transferred to the “Sydney Daily Telegraph” as news editor, but shortly afterwards accepted the position of managing editor of the “Evening News,” then regarded as a dying paper.

Circulation of the “Evening News” had dropped to only 30,000 copies per day, while the dividend had been passed and the financial structure weakened. Despite these handicaps, and others which had previously been regarded as insuperable, Mr. Knox instituted such successful measures that in 1922, the company was able to pay a final dividend of 7 per cent, and subsequently distributions were increased to 8 per cent, and reserves steadily accumulated. After some years the managing editor toured the world and derived much valuable information from his investigation of newspaper methods in America, England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. On his return to Australia the progress of the “Evening News” continued, and in 1928 the dividend rate, after having been maintained for some years at 8 per cent, was raised to 10 per cent, whilst circulation had grown from 30,000 to 125,000 copies a day.

In 1929, however, a merger took place between the interests controlling the “Sydney Sun” and the “Evening News,” resulting in the formation of Associated Newspapers Limited, to which the control of both journals was transferred. Mr. Knox continued with the “Evening News,” and occupied a seat on the board of directors of Associated Newspapers Limited.

Activities in Later Years

This connection was voluntarily terminated by Mr. Knox in 1931, and he then conducted business on his own account. Among other things, he undertook the whole of the work of organization and publication of “Who’s Who in Australia,” later producing “Newspaper News” on behalf of the Yaffa organization. Another interesting achievement was the inauguration of a “Medical Directory of Australia.”

As previously indicated, Mr. Knox has recently been connected with the administrative side of the “Sydney Morning Herald,” being associated with important phases of the advertising organization.

Born in 1889, Mr. Knox in 1919 married Miss Gertrude Mary Coore, a daughter of a former Director of Education in London. They have one son and two daughters.

A man of impressive personality, wide and varied experience, and broad Australian outlook, Mr. Knox should prove a valuable asset to “The Argus,” and the directors confidently anticipate considerable development under his control.

With the appointment of Mr. Knox, the reorganization plans of “The Argus” are now complete as regards personnel. The chief executives of the company are Mr. Errol G. Knox, managing editor, and Mr. A. H. Chisholm, editor.

Funeral of Sir Errol Knox 20-10-1949

The ARGUS, Melbourne, Australia

A large crowd of Melbourne’s most prominent citizens attended the pontifical Requiem Mass
at St. Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday morning for the late Sir Errol Knox.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop J. D. Simonds, and Archbishop Mannix presided.

Leaving the Cathedral, the funeral cortege proceeded down Lonsdale St. It paused for a minute in front of The Argus building on the way to Woodend.

Members of The Argus staff who were on duty lined the footpath in Elizabeth St.

The chief mourners were Lady Knox and her two daughters, Mrs. Henry Steel and Miss Pamela Knox.

Among those at the service were: Mr. Hollway, Premier, and Mr. W. J. Jungwirth, representing the State Government; Mr. S. Elliott, managing director of The Argus, and Messrs J. B. Aitken, A. Sowers, and R. F. Sanderson, directors; Mr. Martin Wang and Mrs. Wang, Consul for China; Sir Robert Knox, and Miss Gertrude Johnson, representing the National Theatre Movement; Sir Harold Clapp, Professor A. R. Chisholm, Mr. L. B. Fanning, chairman ABC Control Board; Mr. Alistair Mackinnon, Sir Iven Mackay, Sir Angus Gillan, representing the British Council; Mr. J. W. Brophy, collector of Customs; Lieut-General C. A. Clowes, Lieut-Colonel G. M. Robinson, representing Brig R. G. H. Irving; Mr. R. T. M. Pescott and Mr. E. N. Dewar, representing the National Museum; Sir Sydney Snow, Sir Gordon Snow, Mr. A. Watkin-Wynne, representing Mr. R. A. G. Henderson, chairman Australian Newspaper Proprietors’ Association; Mr. John Atkins and Mr. A. R. L. Wiltshire, Bank of Australasia; Mr. H. D. Giddy and Mr. G. B. McIndoe, Australian Newsprint Mills; Mr. F. J. Gorden, the Universe Express; Mr. H. H. Cox, representing Sir John Butters; and Mr. P. B. Hellstrom, representing the staff of Associated Newspapers, Sydney; Sir Keith Murdoch and Mr. G. W. Caro, directors the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd; Mr. Hugh Syme, director David Syme and Co Ltd; Mr. Eugene Gorman, KC, and Mr. L. Rigg, Truth and Sportsman Ltd; and Messrs J. E. Binney, B. G. Wilson, H. Dial, and G. H. Thompson, representing the Hanging Rock Racing Club, of which Sir Errol Knox was president.

Floral tributes

The two cars of floral tributes included wreaths from officers and comrades of the 3rd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Sir Edmund and Lady Herring, several racing clubs, the directors and management of newspapers throughout the Commonwealth, the Daily Mirror, London; the Sunday Pictorial, London; the Australian Newspaper Council, the Australian Journalists’ Association, Mr. R. G. Casey, president, and members of the Australia-America Association; and all branches of the staff of The Argus and Australasian Limited.


At the Woodend Cemetery the pallbearers were Dr. M. Velik and Messrs J. E. Binney, J. B. Aitken, F. W. Lennox, Hugh Syme, A. Watkin-Wynne, J. Dewar, J. Peterson, E. J. K. Thompson, and John O’Neill.

The service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. J. J. O’Brien.

The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Tobin Bros.

Errol Knox Photos

Errol Knox 1940

Errol Knox

Errol Knox with Peter

Errol Knox

Peter, Errol & Titia

Ivy, Errol & Joseph

Errol & Gertrude Knox
Home Ladye Place

Errol Knox

Errol Knox December 1, 1941
We Thank Val and Janet Fearby
for these pictures.....

Elizabeth Knox nee Drew
wife of Joseph Knox
Mother of Errol Knox

Peter and Pam Knox with dog

Errol Knox with wife "Bunnie" daughter Titia and nephew Alan Fearby father of Tom and Janet Fearby.

Elizabeth Knox
wife of Joseph Knox

Ivy Jasmine Gwendoline Knox
Errol Aubrey Galbraith Knox
Joseph Milton Hosking Knox

Peter and Titia Knox on "Banchi"
at Ladye Place Woodend.
Pam on foot.



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