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This page: Chandler Family of England and South Africa (Genetic Chandler Family #71)
Messrs. S. Chandler
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Errol later discovered and sent a photo and transcription of an 1896 testimonial dedicated to Samuel Chandler, Jr. The testimonial begins “We the undersigned, on behalf of the inhabitants of Pontybodkin, Leeswood, Pontblyddyn, Tryddyn and Mold, wish to express our deep regret at your approaching departure from the neighbourhood, and take this opportunity of expressing to you our earnest appreciation of your public and other services during the five years you have resided amongst us . . . .” Mention is made of success in business and many “deeds of kindness and charity which will long be remembered.”
Identical testimonials (other than the names) were presented to Samuel Chandler, Jr., Errols great-grand-uncle, and Josiah Chandler, Errols great-grandfather, by a group of friends and neighbors in Wales when they were about to leave the area. Samuel and Josiah were sons of Samuel Chandler, Sr., founder of S. Chandler & Sons, which also incorporated Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler, with head office in London.
The original of Samuels testimonial (see photos), measures about 30 inches high and 24 inches wide, is in the possession of a Samuel Chandler, Jr., descendant in Switzerland. On September 23, 2014, while visiting Switzerland, Errol was able to view and be photographed with Samuels version. He said, It is in amazing condition. The gold and blue decoration is as bright today as when printed 118 years ago. Incorporated into the document is a photograph of the pit-head buildings of their mine. The fate of Josiahs testimonial is unknown.
Leslie Chandler of Wales, England, Russia and South Africa
Errol Chandler (Chandler DNA Group #71) sent this photo of his father, Clement Leslie Chandler (who preferred his middle name, Leslie), taken on Oxford Street in East London, South Africa, in 1937. The left lens of his glasses is opaque due to a wound he suffered in WW1 which caused a partial loss of sight in that eye.
Leslie’s father, Josiah Clement Chandler, was a “gas engineer” for the family business, Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler, Ltd., of London, an English manufacturer of machinery used in the production and purification of coal gas. Josiah apparently was sent to Wales by the company, where he met and married a local girl. Leslie, eldest of five, was born June 4, 1893, in Pontybodkin, Mold, Flintshire, Wales, in a house called The Nant Cottage.
See photos and information on Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler, Ltd., and the coal-powered gas industry on the Chandler Sightings page.
Josiah’s job later sent him, and possibly the entire family, to Russia for a prolonged stay. In 1897 Leslie, age 4, was enrolled in school in London but was withdrawn after only 10 days. Errol thinks this is the point at which the family went to Russia so that Josiah would be on site to oversee the complicated installation of KH&C’s giant gas-producing machines. It is believed that Leslie, at least, spent a great deal of time there and attended an international school in Kiev, Ukraine.
The 1901 census of England shows the family living in London. As Josiah and Leslie were recorded on that census they must have returned to the UK and later gone back to Russia again, possibly more than once. It is understood that for a period only Josiah and Leslie were in Russia, while the mother and younger siblings remained in England.
Josiah Chandler apparently stayed in Russia (or at least traveled between Russia and England) until about 1909 or 1910. Leslie learned to speak fluent Russian, and that ability played a major part in his service to England during World War I and after. Errol is still pulling together that part of his father’s history, which promises to be a fascinating story including undercover operations, royal courier service, and diplomatic pouches.
After an adventurous life during and after World War I, Leslie eventually settled in East London, South Africa, where he married in 1935. At that time he was an employee of the Union Castle Line which carried mail, merchandise, and passengers of the British Empire to and from its South African colony.
Leslie’s children are shown in this photo, taken in Errol’s garden in Durban, South Africa, on August 31, 1974, the date of his sister Julianne’s wedding. From left are Julianne (now deceased), Errol, Brian, Norman, Robin (deceased), and Chester.
Errol, now residing in England, and his siblings were all born in South Africa. Brian and Chester are still in South Africa, and Norman is in Botswana. All four surviving brothers are members of the CFA.
Ernest Vivian Chandler, World Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Ernest V. Chandler fought in England and the U.S. as an amateur boxer. He was educated at the City of London School, became a member of the Stock Exchange, became Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World in New York in 1914,and served in WWI as a Captain in the Royal Field Artillery. See much more about Ernest’s sports career, life, and his tragic death.