Captain John Hunter Chalmers

Biography of Captain John Hunter Chalmers

John Hunter Chalmers was born in Port Glasgow on the 3rd July 1889, and was the elder son of John - a Town Chamberlain (or Treasurer) - and Jane Chalmers. The family lived at Craighead in Port Glasgow, and John was educated at Greenock Academy.

In 1909, John joined the University of Glasgow, matriculating in the class of Scots Law. At the time he was living at 21 Stanley Street, and may have been concurrently doing an apprenticeship with a Law firm. John also took a class in Conveyancing the following year. As he did not undertake any examinations, it is likely that these were an academic element of his apprenticeship, and he gained work as a Solicitor shortly after.

Following the outbreak of War, on the 8th of June 1915 John joined the 9th (Territorial) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on the 3rd of November the same year, before being promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of July 1917. From October 1916 he served with the Expeditionary Force in France, where he gained a reputation as a distinguished leader. In April 1917 he was given a card of congratulation from Major-General Harper, for "gallantry displayed", and in December was mentioned in Despatches by Sir Douglas Haig for "gallant and distinguished service in the field". On a trip home to Glasgow, John married Mary Gladys at the Parish Church in Port Glasgow, on the 17th October 1917.

In January 1918, John was promoted to the rank of Captain. In March 1918 his Battalion was involved in action at Riencourt, near Bapaume, where John received life-threatening wounds. He was being transported to Amiens on the Number 17 Ambulance Train when he died of his wounds on the 25th of March. John Hunter Chalmers was buried at the New Cemetery, Route d'Albert, in Amiens. An Officer wrote of John: "He was such a thorough good fellow, and was much liked by all in the battalion. It was partly through his work that we were able to hold up the German advance for a considerable time, so his life was not given in vain".


Captain John Hunter Chalmers
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Adjt. 5th Bn., attd 7th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: N/A
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry Records

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

Inverclyde's Great War 1914-1918

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