Thursday, 11 November 2010


In Memory of


175142, 5th Coy., Canadian Machine Gun Corps who died age 20 on 03 July 1917.

Only son of John William and Agnes Chandler, of Gedney Dyke, Holbeach, Lincs.

Native of Southea, nr. Wisbech.

Remembered with honour



John Turnbull CHANDLER was my mother's cousin. He was born 31 August 1896 in Lincolnshire, England, and was known as Jack.

Jack left England to learn farming techniques in Canada and settled in Grimsby, Ontario. He joined the 86th Machine Gun Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 13 August 1915 at Welland, Ontario, stating that his date of birth was 1894, not 1896. At that time he was already a member of the 44th Regiment of the Canadian Militia. His enlistment papers show him to be “apparent age 21 years 8 months”, 5’4”, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, a member of the Church of England, and fit to serve with the Forces.
His life ended in
France on 3 July 1917, serving with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.

His obituary:

GEDNEY DYKE SOLDIER FALLS We regret to report the death in action of Pte. John Turnbull Chandler, son of the late Mr. John W. Chandler, schoolmaster, Parson Drove, and of Mrs. Chandler, schoolmistress, Gedney Dyke. The deceased was educated at Barbourne College, Worcester (1908) and Framlingham College (1909-1912). He learned farming and went to Canada in April 1912. He enlisted in January 1916 in Grimsby, Ontario, came over to Shorncliffe June 1916, went to France October 1916, and was killed in action July 3rd. He was only 20 years of age. He leaves a mother and six sisters to mourn his loss.

I visited his grave in France with my two sons in 2005.


  1. Such a sad waste of life.

    But for his sacrifice, and the many others like him, we must all be grateful and never forget.

    I will be teaching my children of the great sacrifice others made so that they could experience the freedoms that they do.

  2. Such a young life spent doing what he believed in. That's not a waste of life but a much valued sacrifice. Thank you for sharing your relative with us, Shammie.

  3. Being as he was a WW I vet, it brings to mind the lyric of "1916", a song by the rock group Motorhead. May I share it with you?

    16 years old when I went to war,
    To fight for a land fit for heroes,
    God on my side,and a gun in my hand,
    Counting my days down to zero,
    And I marched and I fought and I bled
    And I died & I never did get any older,
    But I knew at the time, That a year in the line,
    Is a long enough life for a soldier,
    We all volunteered,
    And we wrote down our names,
    And we added two years to our ages,
    Eager for life and ahead of the game,
    Ready for history's pages,
    And we fought and we brawled
    And we whored 'til we stood,
    Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder,
    A thirst for the Hun,
    We were food for the gun,and that's
    What you are when you're soldiers,
    I heard my friend cry,
    And he sank to his knees,coughing blood
    As he screamed for his mother
    And I fell by his side,
    And that's how we died,
    Clinging like kids to each other,
    And I lay in the mud
    And the guts and the blood,
    And I wept as his body grew colder,
    And I called for my mother
    And she never came,
    Though it wasn't my fault
    And I wasn't to blame,
    The day not half over
    And ten thousand slain,and now
    There's nobody remembers our names
    And that's how it is for a soldier.

    Except, in this case, you've remembered. God bless you, and he.

  4. Lest we forget . . . indeed. Such carnage and a lost generation.

  5. Hats off to this young man who paid dearly for the people he loved. I have a 20-year old son, and imagine (though I cannot fully know) the sense of loss his parents felt.

  6. a beautiful tribute and a loving way to keep his memory alive.

  7. It's so sad to read the tombstones of such young men. Great post for Remembrance Day.

  8. How wonderful that you were able to visit.

  9. A beautiful tribute indeed!

    I hope you have a pleasant weekend.

  10. I also honored a fallen member of my long ago family past. I think it's important to keep these names alive and I hope to someday visit great great uncle Josephs grave in France one day. It must have been emotional for you to see the grave of your long gone relative.

  11. He died the year my dad was born, Sham, which gives me a time-frame. It's so important to remember...!


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