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  • Family gravestone commemorating John and his half-brother, William Tom Hallam. Photograph Rachel Farrand (Sept. 2019)
Person Details
Weston, Newark
John Chambers was the eldest son of Henry Chambers and Hannah Chambers née Rushby His father Henry Chambers was born in 1833 at Weston, Newark, and his mother Hannah Rushby was born in about 1861 at Egmanton, Nottinghamshire. They were married at Weston in 1881 (J/A/S Southwell) and had two sons, John b. 1882 (A/M/J Southwell) bap. Weston All Saints 14 May 1882, and Henry (Harry) b. 1883 (O/N/D Southwell) bap. Weston All Saints 3 February 1884. Henry Chambers senior died at Weston in 1884 (J/A/S Southwell) aged 51, and was buried at Weston All Saints on 14 September 1884. His widow Hannah married Thomas (Tom) Hallam in 1886 (O/N/D Southwell). The 1911 Census gives the information that they had eleven children but this figure probably included John and Henry Chambers as census and birth registration records suggest there were nine children from Hannah's second marriage: Sarah Elizabeth b. 1887 (O/N/D Southwell), William Tom birth registered 1890 (J/F/M Southwell), Bertha Kate (Kate) b. 1892 (A/M/J Southwell), Alfred George (George) b. 1893 (J/A/S Southwell), Joseph (Joe) Cragg b. 1894 (O/N/D Southwell), Mary Ada b. 1896 (J/A/S Southwell) d. 9 November 1920 age 24, Agnes birth prob. registered 1899 (J/F/M Southwell), Lewis/Louis b. 1900 (J/A/S Southwell) and Olga Ellen b. 1901 (O/ND Southwell). With the exception of George and Agnes, all the birth registration records give the mother's maiden name as 'Rushby'. All the children were born in Carlton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. In 1891 John (9) and Henry (7) were living with their mother, stepfather (31), a malster's labourer, and half-siblings Sarah (3) and Tom (1) at Station Road, Carlton-on-Trent, in the household of Tom's widowed father, William Hallam (74), a farmer. All four children were described as William Hallam's grandchildren. John has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census, but he joined the Army in November 1901 and served in South Africa and later India. He transferred to the Army Reserve in 1910 but has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. John gave his mother's address as Middle Holme Lane, Sutton-on-Trent, when he named her as his next of kin when he enlisted in November 1901. This was still the address of his mother and stepfather in 1911 and again on the later CWGC records. Henry also has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census but he married Edith Cartwright in 1910 (J/F/M Southwell) and in 1911 they were living at Ricks Yard, High Street, Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. Henry (27) was a platelayer with the Great Northern Railway. He and Edith (20, b. Bathley) had one child, Edith Mary (8m b. Sutton-on-Trent). Hannah Hallam died aged 74 in 1935 (J/F/M Southwell). John's half-brother, William Tom Hallam, served with the Grenadier Guards in the war and was killed in action on 10 September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (see 'extra information' and also William Tom Hallam's record on this ROH).
He was a labourer when he joined the army in November 1901 as a regular soldier.
10 Apr 1915
1606307 - CWGC Website
1st Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
John Chambers initially enlisted on 17th November 1901 at Sheffield; he was 19 yrs and 7 months old and working as a labourer. He served with the Yorks and Lancaster Regiment on a Short Service Engagement, that is, 7 years with the Colours and 5 years in the Reserve although service overseas might affect the number of years served with the Colours which would then impact on the number of years to be served in the Reserve. However, John was permitted to extend his period of Army Service to complete 8 years with the Colours (approved 15 March 1904). Also, he had served with the 4th Bn Derbyshire Regiment from 3 January 1900 to 10 May 1901 (1 year 128 days) and this period of service was allowed to reckon towards his pension and Good Conduct P.ay John joined at Pontefract on 18 November 1901 and saw service in South Africa and India from 28 October 1902. He returned to England on 31 December 1909 and transferred to the Army Reserve on 4 January 1910. He was discharged from the Army on 17th November 1913 having completed his 12 year engagement with the Army: Home: 18 November 1901-27 October 1902 (344 days), India 28 October 1902-30 December 1909 (7 years 64 days), Home 31 December 1909-3 January 1910 (4 days), Reserve 4 January 1910-17 November 1913 (3 years 318 days). On the outbreak of war he was mobilised and reported to Doncaster on 14th August 1914 (he was now 32 yrs and 139 days old). He joined at the regimental depot at Pontefract on 17th August 1914 and served with the 1st battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. His medal index card states he first entered a theatre of war (France) on 24th February 1915. He was killed in action on 10th April 1915 and having no known grave his name is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Inscription on family headstone, Sutton-on-Trent cemetery: 'In loving memory of Mary Ada Hallam who died Nov. 9th 1920 aged 24 years. Also two brothers who fell in action in France. John Chambers April 10th 1915 aged 33 years and William Tom Hallam Sept. 10th 1916 aged 26 years. At Rest.' His half-brother Private William Tom Hallam enlisted at Newark and served with the 1st battalion Grenadier Guards. He landed in France on 30th November 1915 and was killed in action on 10th September 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Following article published in the Retford Times 6th October 1916 :- 'Pte William Tom Hallam. Mr and Mrs Hallam of Sutton on Trent have received the sad news from the War Office of the death of their son, Pte William Tom Hallam, Grenadier Guards who was killed in action on the 10th or 12th September. The deceased soldier who was 26 years of age had been in the army 18 months. This is the second son Mrs Hallam has lost in the war, the first being Pte J Chambers who was killed on April 10th 1915, after serving in the Army for 17 years. He served all through the South African War, holding the medal with four bars, viz, South Africa, Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony. Mrs Hallam has two more sons serving, one in France, the other in Ireland.'
Remembered on


  • Family gravestone commemorating John and his half-brother, William Tom Hallam. Photograph Rachel Farrand (Sept. 2019)
    Sutton on Trent Cemetery - John Chambers - Family gravestone commemorating John and his half-brother, William Tom Hallam. Photograph Rachel Farrand (Sept. 2019)