29. Sir Charles Henry Gairdner (1898-1983), soldier and Governor of Western Australia
Born in Batavia, Netherlands East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia), Charles Gairdner was educated at Repton College in England, and the Royal Military Academy. He married the Hon. Evelyn Constance Handcock, daughter of the 5th Lord Castlemain, in 1925. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant H.M. Land Forces in May 1916, and was wounded while serving in France and Flanders.
Gairdner was at Staff College 1933-1934, and commanded the 10th Royal Hussars 1937-40. His military service during the Second World War was meritorious. He was GSO 17th Armoured Division 1940; GOC 6th Armoured Division 1941; Director of Plans Middle East 1941; GOC 8th Armoured Division 1942; Chief of General Staff North Africa 1943; Director of Armoured Corps India 1944. He was the personal representative of Prime Minister Winston Churchill (U.K.) to the Philippines and Japan 1945-1948. He was awarded the American Medal of Freedom in 1948.
Gairdner’s distinguished military career was rewarded by his appointment as Governor of Western Australia 1951-1963, and Governor of Tasmania 1963-1968. The Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital was named in his honour in 1963. Governor Sir Charles Gairdner was also noted for his fine knitting, and his yacht at the Royal Perth Yacht Club named the “Aileen Ogg” (“the sick pig”).