William Ward

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Dudley•Ward
Used nameWilliam•Ward
Born14 October 1877 in Kensington, England (GBR)
Died11 November 1946 in Calgary, Alberta (CAN)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Although he was one of the 5-man crew aboard the Duchess of Westminster-owned cutter Sorais that won the bronze medal in the 8-metre class at the 1908 Olympics, William Dudley Ward was better known as a rower.

Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, Ward was Captain of the Boats at Eton and was a member of their eights that won the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at Henley in 1896. The following year he won the first of three rowing Blues. He was the Cambridge University Boat Club President in 1898 when they ended nine years of Oxford domination, although Ward did not compete that year. He was back in the boat, however, when they won again in 1899 and 1900. He was regarded as one of the finest ever No.7s to row for Cambridge.

Ward was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1904 and between 1909-12 was Treasurer of His Majesty’s Household. From 1912-17 he was Private-secretary to the Patronage Secretary and between 1917-22 was Vice-Chamberlain of the Household. Ward served in World War I as a lieutenant-commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) and was mentioned in dispatches. He also found time to serve as a liberal Member of Parliament for Southampton between 1906-22. Ward was the father of the well-known British actress Penelope Dudley-Ward, whose socialite mother, Freda Dudley Ward, was a mistress of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, for 16 years from the end of World War I.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR William Ward
8 metres, Open (Olympic) Sorais 3 Bronze

Special Notes