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on the link Thurmaston Military Indexes

Lieutenant Colonel Hereward Chappell, OBE


The medal group of Lt. Colonel H. Chappell

The Order and Medals of Lieutenant Colonel Hereward Chappell, OBE.

Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), British War Medal and Victory Medal, India General Service Medal (4 bars), 1939-45 Star Burma Star, British War Medal, Burma Police Medal.

The Chappell Family

The father of Hereward Chappell, George Chappell, was born on the 16th October 1861. He was educated at St. Luke's College, Exeter. Between 1885-1889 he served as curate of St. Katherine's church, Northampton, and thereafter in the same capacity at St. Andrew's church, Northampton. However, in 1896 he became vicar of Thurmaston, Leicestershire.

On the 8th June 1897 George Chappell married Emma Marion Ellison at Gaddon Leaze, Uffculme, Devon. She was the only daughter of the Reverend John Ellison, M.A., vicar of Pattishall, Northamptonshire. The couple moved into Thurmaston vicarage. Their first child Hereward Chappell was born on the 21st April 1898 and baptised by his father at St. Michael and All Angel's church, Thurmaston, on the 5th June that same year. The Reverend Chappell and his wife had six more children, two of them twins, one of whom died in infancy.

Hereward Chappell

Young Hereward Chappell received an education at Wyggeston School, Leicester. Thereafter, he was a cadet at Wellington College, India. During the Great War, in 1916, Second Lieutenant Hereward Chappell was enrolled as a cadet in the Saugor Military Academy in India.

As Lieutenant Hereward Chappell he served with the 39th Garhwal Rifles during the Great War, both in Iraq and with the Army of the Black Sea. After the Great War's end he saw further service with the Garhwal Rifles in the Waritzan campaigns of 1919-1921 and 1921-1924. In 1926 he married Aileen Beatrice Henville, the second daughter of Colonel George Henville Davis, Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC), of Oak Lodge, Ditchling, Sussex.

Thereafter, Hereward Chappell served on the North West Frontier of India between 1930-1931. In 1931 he left the Rifles to join the Burma Military Police (BMP). Commanding the North Shan States Battalion of the BMP, he served during the Burma Rebellion which ended in 1932. He later served with the Burma Frontier Force (BFF) during 1936-1937.

During the Second World War, up until the withdrawal of forces from Burma, the result of invasion by the Japanese, he served with the 2nd Rangoon Battalion, BMP. In 1943 he joined the newly formed 2nd Battalion Burma Regiment. Serving with the 2nd Battalion he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and on the 12th June 1947, when then commanding the battalion, he became an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

He retired from the army in 1948 and eventually went to live at Ditchling, Sussex. He and his wife had a family. Hereward Chappell died on the 28th December 1970, he is interred in St. Margaret's churchyard, Ditchling.

Hereward Chappell's brother, Eric Ellison Chappell, who was born at Thurmaston on the 14th November 1900, also served in the army. In 1920-1921 he also took part in the Waritzan campaign in India, whilst serving with the 1/3rd Madras Infantry. A younger brother, Amyas George Chappell, who was born at Thurmaston in around 1904, became a clerk in holy orders. During the Second World War, on the 30th January 1945, the London Gazette recorded that he had gained a commission in the Royal Air Force. The Reverend Amyas George Chappell, M.A., service number 188536, gained his commission with the Chaplain's Branch of the R.A.F. on the 1st January 1945, with the relative rank of Squadron Leader.

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