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Colonel Sir William Robert Campion 1924 - 1931

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Alternate image textSir William Campion was 54 years old when he became WA's Governor.

He was born in England and educated at Eton and Oxford and then joined the London Stock Exchange. At this time WA was experiencing a mining boom and it was a connection that Sir William was to follow later in his life. In 1894, he married Katherine Byron, the grand daughter of the 7th Lord Byron who inherited the title from his first cousin who was the famous romantic poet.

Sir William was elected to the House of Commons in 1910 as a Conservative member and held the seat for Lewes in Sussex until his departure for WA. During World War 1, he saw service in France and with the army of occupation in Germany, and afterwards he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He resumed his political career when war ended, was knighted in 1924, and in June that year was appointed WA's Governor. The Campions were very popular in the role and his term of office was extended.

According to records of the time, Sir William made many visits throughout WA, including a trip to Broome on an aircraft of the newly-formed West Australian Airways. The new flying machines featured largely in his years as Governor with visits from Bert Hinckler and Amy Johnston, the British flying boat squadron and the Australian air race of 1929. Baden Powell came and Dame Nellie Melba.

Sir William welcomed the Duke and Duchess of York to Western Australian shores for a six day visit in 1927.  Apparently, Sir William was a man of high ideals and never forgot that he represented the King.

As the State celebrated its centenary in 1929 Sir William mixed easily with the people of the state.  On their departure in 1931, The West Australian reported that the State was losing a valued Governor but gaining a staunch friend and eloquent advocate at Court in the heart of Empire. "In every sphere Sir William was an indefatigable worker, a shrewd counsellor and a sympathetic friend," the paper said. Campion continued to promote WA back in England for the rest of his life. He died in Sussex in 1951 at the age of 81.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.