David Campbell was born in India on 29th January 1891, the third of four sons born to Rev. William Howard Campbell and his wife Elizabeth. Rev. Campbell was a Presbyterian missionary working in India under the auspices of the London Missionary Society. The youngest son, William, was to die of malaria during a voyage back to the United Kingdom in 1894.
David along with his two elder brothers received his secondary education at Foyle College before attending Edinburgh University. During the Great War he was to be interned in Hungary where he had gone as a tutor. Both of his surviving brothers served during the War. Thomas who had emigrated to Canada returned home at the outbreak of hostilities and enlisted in the Royal Engineers. An engineer by profession he was granted a commission shortly after joining up. Initially he served with the B.E.F. His unit was then transferred to Gallipoli where he was severely wounded on 5th October 1915. He died three days later. His name appears on Foyle's roll of honour and that of First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church and also the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli. His other brother, Samuel Burnside Boyd Campbell, (known as Boyd), joined the R.A.M.C on the outbreak of war and was to be awarded the MC. He played rugby for Ireland on twelve occasions, (1911-13).
In 1919 David entered the Colonial Service. For seventeen years he served in Tanganyika before being appointed Deputy Chief Secretary, Uganda. He subsequently became Colonial Secretary, Gibralter and in quick succession acting Lieutenant Governor of Malta. Upon his retirement from the Colonial Service he returned to Northern Ireland in 1952 and entered upon a career in politics. He was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Belfast South in the 1952 elections, succeeding Connolly Gage, and continued in this role until his death.
Foyle College Times Vol 33 No 2