Dudley de Chair

Sir Dudley de Chair
25th Governor of New South Wales
In office
28 February 1924  9 April 1930
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Sir William Cullen
Sir Philip Street
Preceded by Sir Walter Davidson
Succeeded by Sir Phillip Game
Personal details
Born Dudley Rawson de Chair
(1864-08-30)30 August 1864
Lennoxville, Province of Canada
Died 17 August 1958(1958-08-17) (aged 93)
Brighton, England
Profession Naval officer, colonial administrator
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1878–1923
Rank Admiral
Unit HMS Alexandra
Commands Third Battle Squadron
Battles/wars Anglo-Egyptian War
First World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Member of the Royal Victorian Order

Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair KCB, KCMG, KBE, MVO (30 August 1864 – 17 August 1958) was a senior Royal Navy officer and later Governor of New South Wales.


De Chair joined the Royal Navy in 1878 and took part in the bombardment of Alexandria during the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1882.[1] He was promoted to commander on 22 July 1897,[2] and to captain on 26 June 1902.[3] He became Assistant Controller of the Navy in 1910 and Secretary to First Lord of the Admiralty in 1912.[1] He served in the First World War as Commander of the 10th Cruiser Squadron from 1914 and, having been promoted to rear admiral on 31 July 1912,[4] he became Naval Adviser to Foreign Office on Blockade Affairs in 1916.[1] He went on to be Commander of the 3rd Battle Squadron in 1917, Admiral Commanding the Coastguard and Reserve in 1918 and President of the Interallied Commission on Enemy Warships in 1921 before retiring in 1923.[1]

Governor of New South Wales

Viceregal styles of
Sir Dudley de Chair
Reference style His Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

De Chair was appointed Governor of New South Wales on 8 November 1923.[5] His uncle, Sir Harry Rawson, had held the same position twenty years earlier. Arriving in Sydney in 1924, De Chair became Governor in stable political times. However, when the Fuller Conservatives were defeated by the Labor Party under Jack Lang, De Chair found himself in conflict with Lang's revolutionary reform program, particularly over Lang's attempts to abolish the New South Wales Legislative Council. While Lang's attempts ultimately failed, De Chair failed to gain the support of an indifferent Dominions Office. With Lang's departure in 1927, the Nationalist Government of Thomas Bavin invited him in 1929 to stay on as Governor for a further term. De Chair agreed only to a year's extension and retired on 8 April 1930.

Later life

Returning to London after a global trip, de Chair worked on his memoirs until his death in 1958.[6]

Personal life

De Chair married Enid Struben in 1903. Together they had three children, Henry Graham de Chair, Elaine de Chair and Somerset de Chair.

Honours and decorations

Following the King Edward VII's visit to the Russian Empire, de Chair was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) on 10 June 1908 for his role in the visit as commander HMS Cochrane.[7] In the 1914 King's Birthday Honours, he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).[8]

On 6 March 1911, de Chair was appointed a Naval aide-de-camp (ADC) to King George V.[9] He relinquished the appointment on 31 July 1912, having been promoted to flag rank on that day.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Dudley de Chair". Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 26865. p. 3443. 22 June 1897. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27448. p. 4198. 26 June 1902.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 28632. p. 5723. 2 August 1912. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 32878. p. 7655. 9 November 1923. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  6. Clune, David; Turner, Ken (2009). The Governors of New South Wales: 1788–2010. Sydney: Federation Press. pp. 457–472.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 28148. pp. 4403–4404. 16 June 1908. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28842. p. 4876. 19 June 1914. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 28475. p. 2148. 14 March 1911. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 28633. p. 5854. 6 August 1912. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
Military offices
Preceded by
David Beatty
Naval Secretary
Succeeded by
Horace Hood
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Walter Davidson
Governor of New South Wales
Succeeded by
Sir Phillip Game
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