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Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson GCB GCMG

1843 – 1910

Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson GCB GCMG (1843–1910) was appointed governor of New South Wales in January 1902 having distinguished himself in the course of various conflicts as an officer of the Royal Navy. Rawson was the first naval officer appointed to the NSW role since William Bligh, but unlike that particular predecessor he was a popular governor, known for the enthusiasm with which he attended to his social and charitable duties, and for his enjoyment of sport. His wife, Florence, had died while on a return voyage to Sydney from England in 1905, after which his daughter Alice fulfilled her mother’s duties. Rawson was promoted to admiral in 1903, admitted to the Order of the Bath in 1906, and to the Order of St Michael & St George in 1909. Rawson’s term as governor, which was extended by a year, ended in 1909, after which he lived in retirement in London. The Rawson Cup – an intercollegiate competition in eight sports including rowing, rugby, athletics and swimming – is still contested annually by students at the University of Sydney.

Updated 2018