WARD, William Humble, Second Earl of Dudley (1867-1932)


WARD, William Humble, Second Earl of Dudley (1867-1932)
fourth governor-general of Australia
son of the 1st Earl of Dudley and Georgina, daughter of Sir Thomas Moncrieffe, bart., was born on 25 July 1867 and was educated at Eton. He subsequently spent about three years in a tour round the world, which included a visit to Australia in February 1887. He had succeeded his father as Earl of Dudley in 1885. He returned to England, and in 1891 married Rachel, daughter of Charles Henry Gurney. He took his seat in the house of lords and showed ability as a speaker, and he also became interested in movements aiming at the solving of social problems. In 1895 he became parliamentary secretary to the board of trade, and during the South African war was on Lord Roberts's staff. He was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1902, and with his wife showed much sympathy with the people. He succeeded Lord Northcote (q.v.) as governor-general of Australia in 1908 and arrived in September of that year. He was fond of open air life, no difficult problems of government arose, and both he and his wife were popular and made many friends in Australia. His appointment terminated on 31 July 1911 and he returned to England. During the 1914-18 war he was at first in command of the Worcester yeomanry and in 1916 was in Egypt attached to the head-quarters staff. Lady Dudley died in 1920, and in 1924 he was married to Mrs Lionel Moncton, formerly Miss Gertie Millar, a well-known actress. He died in England on 29 June 1932 leaving four sons and three daughters of the first marriage. He was created G.C.V.O. in 1903, G.C.M.G. in 1908, and G.C.B. in 1911. He was a good horseman much interested in hunting, racing and yachting. Both in Ireland and Australia his ability, friendliness and tact, enabled him to do excellent work as an administrator.
The Times, 30 June 1932; The Argus, Melbourne, 1 July 1932; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1931.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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