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  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times, following the death of Arthur Clark Chandler
Person Details
18 Apr 1895
Thrumpton Retford Nottinghamshire
Arthur was the son of Mary Ann Chandler (née Clarke also Clark) and her first husband Charles Chandler. His father Charles was born in Woolwich, Kent, in 1861, the son of John and Elizabeth Chandler (née Hughes). In 1871 John and Elizabeth were living on Boughton Road, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, with their five children including Charles (9) and Frederick who was born in Ollerton on 19 December 1869. His mother Mary Ann Clarke was born in Newark, Nottinghamshire, on 19 December 1863. Charles married Mary Ann at Newark Christ Church on 25 November 1883. They had at least seven children: Frederick George b. Newark 14 August 1884, Kate b. Newark 28 March 1886, Walter b. Newark 6 September 1887, Albert b. Retford 4 September 1889, Charles b. Thrumpton 11 July 1891, Mabel b. Thrumpton 5 November 1892 and Arthur Clarke b. Thrumpton 18 April 1895. In 1891 Charles (29), a labourer at the India Rubber Works, and Mary (27) were living in Thrumpton with their children Frederick, Kate, Walter and Albert. Charles was born later that year, Mabel the following year and Arthur in 1895. Charles died in 1896 (J/A/S) and his widow Mary Ann married secondly her brother-in-law, Frederick Chandler, on 5 June 1897 (A/M/J East Retford). Frederick was a regular soldier serving with the Notts & Derby Regiment (2430 Private). He had joined in 1888, having previously served in the Militia, and was not discharged from the Army until 4 December 1901. Frederick and Mary had three children who were all born in Thrumpton: Leonard b. 13 January 1898, Margaret Emma EB b. 25 July 1903 and Gladys Minnie F. b. 1905. In 1901 Mary was living in Thrumpton and described on the census as 'soldier's wife'; her husband was serving in South Africa. In the home on the night of the census were her eight children Frederick a paper mill labourer, Kate, Walter, Albert, Charles, Mabel, Arthur and Leonard. Frederick, a gas engineer, and Mary were living at 11 Nelson Street, Retford, by 1911. In the home were Walter, a labourer at the Rubber Works, and Arthur, described as Frederick's stepsons, and their children Leonard, Margaret and Minnie. Albert has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but Frederick George had married Mary Cook in 1908; Kate had married Alfred Millington in 1905 and they were living in Retford with their children Denis Bernars and Hilda; Charles (19), a blacksmith's striker, was an in-patient in Retford Cottage Hospital and Mabel was a domestic servant in the household of Rev. Collett in West Retford. At the time of Arthur's death in 1915 Frederick and Mary were living at 56 Nelson Street. Three other sons also served in the war. Walter served with the 8th battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) and Albert with the Royal Engineers; both survived the war. Leonard served with 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) and died of wounds on 15 April 1916. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Frederick, a retired steam joint fitter, and Mary were living with their married daughter Margaret (m. 1925, d. 1982), her husband Percy Reginald Dukes (b. 1 August 1898 d. 1982) and their son Gordon (b. 1929) at 33 Victoria Road, Retford. Mary Ann died in 1944 and Frederick in 1949. Their daughter Gladys had married John W Turgoose in 1928 and in 1939 they were proprietors of The Prince of Wales Hotel, Harrogate. Gladys died in 1991 (A/M/J Kingsbridge Devon). Of Arthur's siblings: Frederick George died in 1954, Kate Millington in 1921, Walter in 1948, Albert in 1963, Charles in 1968, and Mabel Chandler in 1918.
Employed by the Great Northern Railway (Retford North signal box at the railway station).
07 Sep 1915
19719 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Retford
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Arthur enlisted in Retford on 28th August 1914. He gave his age as 19 years and 135 days and his occupation as that of telegraphist . Arthur went out to France on 26th January 1915. He was in the major action at Hooge on 9th August 1915 during which he suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to 10th Casualty Clearing Station and then admitted to No. 10 Stationary Hospital, St Omer, on the 10th. He died in hospital on 7th September 1915. He was buried at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery (grave ref. II.A.26.). He had served for 1 year and 11 days and qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery (extract): 'St. Omer was the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force from October 1914 to March 1916 ... The town was a considerable hospital centre with the 4th, 10th, 7th Canadian, 9th Canadian and New Zealand Stationary Hospitals, the 7th, 58th (Scottish) and 59th (Northern) General Hospitals, and the 17th, 18th and 1st and 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations all stationed there at some time during the war ... The cemetery takes its names from the triangular cemetery of the St. Omer garrison, properly called the Souvenir Cemetery (Cimetiere du Souvenir Francais) which is located next to the War Cemetery.' (www.cwgc.org)
His half-brother Leonard served with 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) and died of wounds on 15 April 1916. (See record on this Roll of Honour) Retford and Worksop Herald and North Notts Advertiser, 18 May 1915: ‘Four Retford Sons Serving. The Chandler Family’s Record. We give below the photos of the four sons of Mr and Mrs Chandler, 56, Nelson-street, and their son-in-law, who are now serving their King and country. Pte, Walter Chandler, the eldest son, is well known in the town as a member of the Territorials and the Ambulance Brigade. When the mobilising order came out in August last he went up with the other members of the Retford Company and has served with the 8th Sherwood Foresters since that time, and is now ‘somewhere in France.’ He was an employee of the Rubber Works. Leonard is also with the 8th, and is now serving with the Reserve Battalion at Luton. He was employed at Messrs. Jenkins and Co. Rifleman A [Albert] Chandler joined the King’s Royal Rifles in September last, signing on for 12 years. Formerly he was on the Great Central [Railway]. Pte AC Chandler joined the 2nd Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, for the duration fo the war, and is now in France. He was formerly in the North Box at the station. Their brother-in-law, Pte A Millington, employed at Messrs. Bradshaw’s has also joined the Sherwood Foresters, and is now at Crown Hill Forts, Plymouth. We congratulate this family on their worthy example in patriotism and self-sacrifice. All the five are natives of Retford.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Retford and Worksop Herald & North Notts Advertiser, 13 July 1915: ‘Retford Soldiers and Sailors Comforts Association. Private Chandler, 2nd SF, thanks the Association very heartily, and says he is in the best of health and spirits, and hopes to be home soon.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Retford and Worksop Herald & North Notts Advertiser, 7 September 1915: ‘Pte AC Chandler Wounded. Mrs Chandler, of Nelson-street, has this morning received a letter from the Record Office at Litchfield, to the effect that her son, Pte AC Chandler, of the 2nd Notts. and Derby Regt., is lying dangerously ill at the Stationary Hospital, St Omer, France, suffering from a gun shot wound in the head. Another son, Pte Walter Chandler, is at home on leave, having resigned from further service with 8th Sherwood Foresters, whilst a third son, Pte. Leonard Chandler, has just gone into the trenches for his first experience in the firing line.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Retford Times 17 September 1915 - Pte Arthur Clark Chandler 'Mr and Mrs Frederick Chandler, 56 Nelson Street, Retford, have suffered a heavy bereavement by the death of their fifth son Pte Arthur Clark Chandler of the 2nd Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt) in the 21st year of his age. He passed away on Sept 7th at the 10th --- Hospital, St Omer as a result of wounds received in action. The sympathy of the King and Queen were conveyed to the distressed parents by Lord Kitchener, the Minister for War. 'This is the first of four members of the Chandler family to be stricken down in the great European war. The other sons are Pte Walter Chandler, the eldest, of the 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (TF), now on a month’s leave from the front: Sapper Albert Chandler of the Royal Engineers, who joined His Majesty’s Army a year ago for 12 years; and Pte Leonard Chandler of the 2nd/8th Sherwood Foresters (TF). 'It seems that the late Pte Chandler was wounded on Aug 9th and a telegram was received three days later by Mrs Chandler stating that he was dangerously wounded. He enlisted for the duration of the war and went to the front last January. He was formerly employed on the Great Northern Railway, and was engaged in the north signal box at the Railway Station. He was one of the best of sons and his letters home were always bright and cheerful. His one prevailing thought was for his mother to whom he was most devoted. He had the delightful pleasure of seeing his elder brother, Walter, last July in France and the two brothers spent a brief and affectionate time together. His youngest brother, Leonard, was able to visit him in hospital. These two brothers, it might be stated, were at one time in employ of Mr Walter Yoell, watchmaker and jeweller, Carolgate, Retford. 'The late Pte Chandler was a patient in the hospital for five weeks. The following is a copy of the letter received last Thursday:- “Dear Mrs Chandler, just a few lines just to let you know that your son, Arthur is not quite so well today. For the last few days he has been brighter, and though he could not talk much has quite understood what I said to him. Your letter and several others which have lately come for him he quite understood and appreciated. He knew all the different names quite well, and when I asked what I should say to his mother, he said give her my love. Today he is quite unable to speak, and I think he has not understood much. He looks tired and weary, though not much, I think, suffering much. I am afraid the end is not far away. He has been very good and patient, with kind regards, yours sincerely, V Rogers, Sister”. 'Pte Walter Chandler, who has been attached to the headquarters staff of the 8th Sherwood Foresters, and is now in Retford, is shortly returning to the front and he will take with him a beautiful wreath to lay on the grave of his beloved brother. When the mobilising order came out, just over a year ago he went up with the other members of the Company and served with the 8th Sherwood Foresters ever since. His time in the Territorials had expired but he felt he could not leave his brothers and comrades in the trenches, and decided to re-enlist for the remaining period of the war. He was formerly employed by the Northern Rubber Co. 'The Chandler family have set a worthy example of patriotism and self-sacrifice. The father served with the Sherwood Foresters through the South African campaign and is now an employee at the engineering works of Messrs W J Jenkins and Co., Ltd. Mr and Mrs Chandler’s soldier boys have all passed through the Thrumpton School, under the headmastership of Mr J Clements and have also been choir lads at St Albans Church, Ordsall. The eldest son, Mr F G Chandler, was a member of the choir which sang at the interment in Ordsall Churchyard of the late Rev J K Stothert in 1896: and the late Pte Arthur C Chandler was a chorister when the choir sang over the grave of the late Rev Dr Scott in1908. Altogether, Mr and Mrs Chandler have bought up a a family of ten children, viz, six boys and four girls. 'The deep sympathy of a large number of people go out to the parents in their sad bereavement. A large number of letters expressing sincere sympathy have been received. They all testify to the fact that the deceased soldier was greatly esteemed by all who knew him, and that he will be very much missed. Mr J Coulby, 86 Ollerton Road, secretary of the Retford branch of the National Railway Union, in the course of his letter wrote:- “Arthur was one of my work mates and I cannot say how sorry I was to hear of his death. His kind and general disposition made him a great favourite of all he came in contact, and he will be missed by all who knew him. There is, however, one consolation – that he died for his King and country, thus proving that he was doing all he could to keep those in safety he left behind”. Another friend wrote:- “Arthur has met his death honourably. He has died for the honour of his King and country. He has died a true and brave British soldier. He has died for his home and kindred.” The late Pte Chandler’s fiancée, who lives at Doncaster, closed her letter with the following verse:- We loved him in life, we love him still, But in grief all must bend to God’s Holy will. We miss him and mourn him, in silence unseen. And dwell in the memory of joy that have been. NANCE' Retford and Worksop Herald and North Notts Advertiser, ‘Deaths, 14 September 1915: ‘Chandler. On Sept. 7th. At No. 10 Stationary Hospital, St Omer, France, Arthur Clark Chandler, beloved son of Mr and Mrs Chandler, 56, Nelson-street, Retford, aged 20 years. Died from wounds received in action, whilst serving with the 2nd Notts and Derby Regt. (Sherwood Foresters). We who loved him in life shall love him still, But in grief must bend to God’s holy will. We miss and mourn him in silence unseen, Dwelling on memories of joys that have been.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Retford and Worksop Herald & North Notts Advertiser, 5 October 1915 (extract): ‘Corpl. Allison Clark in France. Visit of Pte. Chandler’s Grave. Corp. A Clark, son of Mr Charlie Clarke, Bridgegate, of 273 Company Motor Transport, ASC, writes to us as follows: ‘I saw in your paper of Sept. 14th, that young Chandler had died of wounds out here. Curiosly enough to-day I came across his grave. I thought it would be some satisfaction to his people to know that someone from Retford had seen where he is laid to rest. The cemetery is a charming spot and well looked after. The British are on one side, the French on the other. A small cross is erected with a plate of for each man, but these are later taken away and replaced with a large white one, with the names properly printed, about six names on each cross.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Research Peter Gillings and others
Remembered on


  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times, following the death of Arthur Clark Chandler
    Arthur Clark Chandler - Photograph first published in the Retford Times, following the death of Arthur Clark Chandler
  • Buried in Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Arthur Clark Chandler - Buried in Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
  • Photograph and report '‘Four Retford Sons Serving. The Chandler Family’s Record', Retford & Worksop Herald & North Notts Advertiser, 18 May 1915.
    Arthur Clark Chandler - Photograph and report '‘Four Retford Sons Serving. The Chandler Family’s Record', Retford & Worksop Herald & North Notts Advertiser, 18 May 1915.