Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Purdy was active in the Shipconstructors' and Shipwrights' Association, and became its Assistant General Secretary by 1920. He succeeded Alexander Wilkie as the union's Acting General Secretary shortly before Wilkie's death in 1928, but Purdy himself died the following year before he could stand for election to the permanent post.
Purdy was also a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. He moved that George Wardle preside over the 1917 party conference as acting chair, and Purdy was then elected as chairman for 1917/18.
- Norman Mackenzie, The Letters of Sidney and Beatrice Webb: Volume 3, p.91
- Alan Haworth and Dianne Haytor, Men Who Made Labour
- David Dougan, The shipwrights: the history of the Shipconstructors' and Shipwrights' Association, 1882-1963, p.225
- Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party, 1918
|Party political offices|
| Chairman of the Labour Party
|Trade union offices|
| Acting General Secretary of the Ship Constructive and Shipwrights' Association
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