David Campbell was one of Australia’s most accomplished poets.
Campbell was born on 16 July 1915 at Ellerslie Station, near Adelong, New South Wales. He was the third child of Australian-born parents Alfred Campbell, a grazier and medical practitioner, and his wife Edith Madge, née Watt.
In 1930, Campbell went to The King's School, Sydney, and in 1935, with the support of the headmaster, he enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1937. He continued to play rugby he excelled at school. His studies in English literature developed his interest in poetry.
Campbell returned to Australia from Cambridge in 1938 and on 6 November 1939 joined the Royal Australian Air Force. He had learned to fly while at Cambridge and went to train as a pilot at Point Cook. He served in New Guinea, where he was injured and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and flew bombing missions from Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Campbell married Bonnie Edith Lawrence on 20 January 1940 at St John's Anglican Church, Toorak, Melbourne. They had two sons (including John) and a daughter, but were divorced in 1973. In 1946, he settled on a family property, Wells Station, near Canberra, and in 1961 he moved to Palerang, near Bungendore, New South Wales. In 1968, he moved again to The Run, Queanbeyan, New South Wales.
On 18 February 1974 Campbell married Judith Anne Jones in Sydney. From May to September 1975 they travelled in England and Europ..