Topic: Lance-Corporal Jesse Gilbert John Chapman

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War who died of wounds received in the fighting around Bapaume.

Lance-Corporal Jesse Gilbert John Chapman - 15490                 

Although his full name was Jesse Gilbert John he preferred to be known as Gilbert and enlisted as such. Gilbert was born at Hororata on 5th April 1887, second son of Neave and Mary Jane Chapman. He married, after enlisting, Amelia Miller Phillips at her mother’s home at Glenroy on 20th June 1916 His daughter Ella Phillips Chapman was born after her father left to serve and never met her father. He was educated at the Hororata School and after leaving school he was employed by Mr F. J. Savill, Hororata station. Later he took up contract farming with his brother. He was greatly respected in the district for his honesty and fair dealing. He was 6ft tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.                 

Gilbert enlisted on 4th April 1916 and was assigned to the 15th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company. After training at Trentham he embarked from Wellington on 26th July on board the Waitemata. He landed at Devonport on 3rd October and marched into Sling Camp the same day. He left for France on 20th October and marched into to Base Depot at Etaples the next day. He joined the 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment in the field on 8th November 1916. All went well until 10th June 1917 when he was evacuated to hospital sick with urticaria, otherwise known as hives. Four days later he was able to return to his unit. He was detached to the 2nd Army Rest Camp on 16th July returning on 20th July. On 29 October he was appointed Lance Corporal to replace another who had been sent to hospital. He was detached to HQ on 29 February 1918 presumably for training. He was evacuated to hospital on 15 May with influenza but was able to return after three days. He was wounded in action on 28th August during the action around Bapaume. Sadly he died of his wounds in the advanced dressing station on 29 August 1918 and was later buried in the Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas-de-Calais. In New Zealand Jesse Gilbert John is remembered on the Hororata War Memorial. His wife remarried in 1925 to Arnold Purser Tuer of Hororata.

Researched and written by L M Seaton 

Achiet-le-Grand was occupied by the 7th Bedfords on 17 March 1917, lost on 25 March 1918 after a defence by the 1st/6th Manchesters, and recaptured on 23 August 1918. From April 1917 to March 1918, the village was occupied by the 45th and 49th Casualty Clearing Stations. Achiet station was an allied railhead. The communal cemetery and extension were used by Commonwealth medical units from April 1917 to March 1918. The extension was also used by the Germans to a small extent in March and April 1918, and again by Commonwealth troops in August 1918. After the Armistice Plot III and most of Plot IV were made when 645 graves, mainly of 1916 and March and August 1918, were brought in from the battlefields around Achiet and from the following small burial grounds:- ACHIET-LE-GRAND GERMAN CEMETERY, on the road to Bihucourt, in which one soldier from the United Kingdom was buried by the Germans, and five by their comrades in August, 1918. ACHIET-LE-PETIT COMMUNAL CEMETERY and the GERMAN EXTENSION on the East of it. The former contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from New Zealand, buried by the Germans. The latter was begun by the Germans, carried on by the 1st Bedfords and other units in August, 1918, and completed after the Armistice by the concentration to it of 360 German Graves; it contained, in all, the graves of 50 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 39 from New Zealand and 1,147 German. BEAUMETZ-LES-CAMBRAI COMMUNAL CEMETERY, containing the graves of six soldiers from the United Kingdom, three from Australia and one from Canada, all buried by the Germans, and 201 German soldiers; and the GERMAN EXTENSION, containing the graves of one soldier from the United Kingdom and 298 German soldiers. BEHAGNIES CHURCHYARD, used by the Germans in 1916, and containing the graves of 86 German soldiers and one from the United Kingdom. BEHAGNIES GERMAN CEMETERY, on the main road through the village, used in 1918 and containing the graves of 100 German soldiers, four French and one from the United Kingdom. BEUGNATRE COMMUNAL CEMETERY GERMAN EXTENSION, containing 200 German graves and those of two soldiers from the United Kingdom, (one of whom is now buried in Bancourt British Cemetery). BEUGNY CHURCHYARD and GERMAN EXTENSION, containing the graves of 46 soldiers from the United Kingdom and six from Australia (who fell, for the most part, in 1917, and of whom 34 belonged to the R.G.A.), and 19 French and 183 German soldiers. BEUGNY GERMAN CEMETERY, called the Heldenfriedhof, and one of many in BEUGNY. It was in the North-West quarter of the village, and it contained the graves of five soldiers from Australia, four from the United Kingdom and 831 German. BOURSIES COMMUNAL CEMETERY GERMAN EXTENSION, containing the graves of 173 German soldiers, one R.A.F. officer, and one Canadian soldier. DOIGNIES GERMAN CEMETERY, on the South side of the village, containing the graves of 15 soldiers from the United Kingdom, one from Australia, and 150 German. HERMIES COMMUNAL CEMETERY, in which six soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom and two Australian soldiers were buried by the Germans. LOUVERVAL GERMAN CEMETERY, DOIGNIES, outside the Eastern angle of Louverval Chateau grounds, containing the graves of seven unidentified Highlanders and 138 German soldiers. QUEANT COMMUNAL CEMETERY, containing the graves of 180 German soldiers and of three from the United Kingdom who fell in March, 1918; and the GERMAN EXTENSION, in which ten soldiers and airmen from the United Kingdom and 140 German and four Russian soldiers were buried by the Germans, and 420 German soldiers by the British. VELU GERMAN CEMETERY, on the East side of the village, containing the graves of 850 German soldiers, five from the United Kingdom, two from Newfoundland, one Australian, one Indian and one French. VILLERS-AU-FLOS GERMAN CEMETERY, on the North side of the village; it contained the graves of three soldiers from the United Kingdom and three from Australia who fell in 1916. VRAUCOURT CHURCHYARD, VAULX-VRAUCOURT, it contained the graves of two Australian soldiers who fell in 1917. The COMMUNAL CEMETERY contains four Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The EXTENSION contains 1,424 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 200 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to eight casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of ten casualties buried in other cemeteries whose graves could not be found. There are also 42 German war graves in the extension. The extension was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Lance-Corporal Jesse Gilbert John Chapman


First Names:Gilbert John
Last Name:Chapman
Date of Birth:5 April 1887
Place of Birth:Hororata
Date of Death:29 August 1918
Place of Death:Pas de Calais, France
Memorial or Cemetery:Achiet-le-Grande Communal Cemetery Extention
Age at death:31
User Name:L M Seaton
Other names known by:J G J
Occupation before enlisting:Farming
Marital Status:Married Amelia Miller Phillips
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Enlistment details:4 April 1916
Parents or Next of Kin:Neave and Mary Jane Chapman
Service Number:15490
Rank last held:Corporal
Embarkation:26 July 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Died of wounds
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Lance-Corporal Jesse Gilbert John Chapman by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License