Davidson, Sir Walter Edward (1859-1923)
Davidson was born on April 20, 1859 in Killyleagh, County Down, Ireland.
He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge. After six years in the Cambridge cadet
program, he was sent to Ceylon in 1880 where he held several positions including
Chairman of the Municipal Council and Mayor of Colombo. He went to the Transvaal in
1901, and was appointed governor of the Seychelles Islands in 1904. He stayed there for
eight years. In 1913, he became governor of Newfoundland.
During the Great War, Davidson helped direct Newfoundland's military effort as chairman
of the Newfoundland Patriotic Association, and was very influential in public affairs. He
played an active role in recruitment to the Newfoundland Regiment. There were those
who thought that Davidson was more openly involved in the Colony's affairs than was
proper. He left Newfoundland in 1917 just as the war effort was running into trouble, and
the political consensus over which he and the prime minister, Sir Edward Morris, had
presided since 1914, was breaking down.
His next appointment was as governor of New South Wales, where he served until his
death in Sydney on September 15, 1923.
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