Major John Stewart Chalmers

Biography of Major John Stewart Chalmers

John Stewart Chalmers was born on the 6th March 1882, in Dagshai, India. He was the son of Robert Chalmers, an Engineer. He joined the High School of Glasgow soon after it was opened and before undertaking an apprenticeship in Law. Like so many of his contemporaries he remained to the last deeply attached to his old School, and the headmaster had several letters from him in which he showed that he kept in touch with all its doings.

He joined the University of Glasgow in 1898, taking classes in Logic, Psychology, Latin and English Literature, before beginning to study Law in earnest. In 1900-01, he studied Civil Law, followed by a class in Law of Scotland in 1901-02. In his final year he studied Conveyancing and International Private Law, and graduated BL on the 5th of November 1903.

Soon after completing his apprenticeship he started in business for himself as a law agent, but also found time to join the Glasgow Highlanders as a commissioned officer.

When war began he was mobilised with his battalion and went to France in November 1914. No one who passed through the first winter in the trenches will ever forget the experience. Trying as the following years were, they were almost picnics compared with the winter of 1914. Major Chalmers came seemingly unharmed through the worst of it, but when home on leave he had a serious illness which kept him at home for a long time.

When he recovered he was appointed to raise, train, and command a company of divisional cyclists. In August 1917, he returned to France to his old battalion, and came safely through the terrible trials that marked the autumn of that year. During the critical days of April 1918, when the Germans were making their final effort for the possession of the Channel ports, the Glasgow Highlanders played a heroic part in stemming the onset.

They held part of the line between Bailleul and Neuve Eglise, and there while commanding the advanced company Major Chalmers was struck by a shell and killed instantaneously. He will always be remembered by his contemporaries for his fine qualities of leadership, which found a wider field for their exercise than he or they ever dreamed of.



Major John Stewart Chalmers
Rank: Major
Regiment: 9th Highland Light Infantry
Degree: BL
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


Obituary: The High School of Glasgow: the book of Service and Remembrance (Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson, 1921)

University of Glasgow Registry Records: R4/2/2,

Memorial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission ' Debt of Honour Register

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