Ward was the son of William Ward, 3rd Earl of Dudley, and Lady Rosemary Millicent Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, only surviving daughter of Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland. He was a godson of the Duke of Windsor and was brought up at Himley Hall at a time when the family owned 30,000 acres in Staffordshire and Worcestershire. In July 1930, his mother was killed in the Meopham air disaster. His father was a close friend of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, who spent his last weekend as king at Himley Hall, before his abdication in 1936.
Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, the future 4th Earl was commissioned into the Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own), and was wounded on active service in the Second World War. Between 1942 and 1943 he served as aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Archibald Wavell the Viceroy of India.
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After the war
Dudley ceased to sit as a member of the Lords on 11 November 1999, following the retirement of many of the hereditary seats from the legislature by the House of Lords Act 1999.
He was the paternal uncle of actress and former model Rachel Ward and the environmental activist Tracy Louise Ward (now Duchess of Beaufort) who are the daughters of the 4th Earl's youngest brother, the Hon. Peter Alistair Ward.
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Lord Dudley married firstly Stella Carcano y Morra, daughter of Dr. Don Miguel Angel Carcano, who was the Argentine Ambassador to the UK from 1942 to 1946. They married on 10 January 1946 and had three children:
- (William Humble) David (Jeremy) Ward, Viscount Ednam (born 27 March 1947). He married Sarah Mary Coats, on 3 July 1972.; they were divorced in 1976. He then married Debra Louise Pinney, in 1976. They had a daughter, Bethany Rowena Ward, in 1977, and were divorced in 1980. He succeeded his father as 5th Earl of Dudley and 15th Baron Ward upon his father's death, where at that time he was living in France.
- Lady Rosemary Millicent Ward (born 26 May 1955), twin, married on 26 April 1980 Castor Cañedo. Lady Rosemary has one daughter, and lives in Spain.
- Lady Anne-Marie Ines Ward (born 26 May 1955), twin, married in 1978 Laureano Pérez-Andújar y Gimena. They were divorced in 1993.
Lord and Lady Dudley divorced in 1960.
- Hon. William Ward (stillborn 21 October 1961)
- Lady Susanna Louise Ward (born 23 May 1963),
- Lady Melissa Patricia Eileen Ward (born 18 July 1964), married in 1991 to Simon Puxley; has daughter (India Ward Puxley)
- Lady Victoria Larissa Cecilia Ward (born 28 May 1966), Has son (George Ward-Carstairs)
- Lady Amelia Maureen Erica Ward (born 5 September 1967),
- Lady (Emma Sophia) Cressida Ward (born 7 January 1970), married to Dr Ludovic Toro (civil service in July 2011 in London and on 1 October 2011 in Sicily in a Roman Catholic wedding), whom she met while working in Paris and where she now lives. They have a son William Raffaele Vittorio Toro born 26 June 2012; Lady Cressida Ward has a daughter from a prior relationship (Lily Rose Ward Davis; born 2 November 2004). She works in medical PR.
- Hon. Leander Grenville Dudley Ward (born 31 October 1971), film-maker, married British journalist Laura Sevier on 23 July 2011. They had a daughter, Leyla Atalanta Ward, on 14 October 2012, and a second daughter, Alana Mae Ward, on 8 May 2014.
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The 4th Earl died on 16 November 2013 and was laid to rest in the private burial ground of the Earls of Dudley at the rear of the parish church at Himley.
Source: "William Ward, 4th Earl of Dudley", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ward,_4th_Earl_of_Dudley.
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John Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley
Duke of Sutherland
George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle
Earl of Dudley
Earl of Cromartie
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
George Coventry, 9th Earl of Coventry
Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 3rd Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
William Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley
William Ward, 3rd Earl of Dudley
Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland
Millicent Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland
Rosemary Ward, Viscountess Ednam
- "William Humble David Ward 4th Earl of Dudley Obituary". The Times. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- The Earl of Dudley dies at age of 93, expressandstar.com, 27 November 2013, accessed 25 January 2023
- Tim Walker. Edited by Claire Fox 6:28 am BST 20 June 2011 (20 June 2011). "Sienna Miller splits her time between two men". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
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- "Leander Ward". IMDb.com an Amazon.com company. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
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