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Return to Chandler Memories, page 8:
Chandler Family of England and South Africa
(Genetic Chandler Family #71)

Ernest Vivian Chandler, World Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Champion

In the photo above, Ernest Vivian Chandler (in white top and black shorts) is boxing in a charity exhibition match. The following is handwritten on the back of the photograph:

Stock Exchange Boxing Club ninth annual Display

with Inter Club Competitions with Oxford University

The picture shows:

E. V. Chandler
S.E.B.C. Middle Weight
Amateur Champion 1912
Private McEnroy
Irish Guards Light-Heavy-Weight
Champion of Army & Navy

The photo above and others on this page were provided by Errol Chandler, Ernest Vivian Chandler’s first cousin twice removed. Errol says    that ‘S.E.B.C.’ refers to Stock Exchange Boxing Club. This was a charity exhibition match with Oxford University. Private Pat Mc Enroy of the Irish Guards represented the Army & Navy. The photo was made by J. Woodland Fullwood, Norwood, London. The match probably took place around 1913.

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.

His father was Samuel Chandler, one of the founding family of the firm Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler. (See more on the Chandler Sightings page and also on the Chandler Memories page 8 (Chandler family #71) (under “Messrs S Chandler & Sons entertained . . . .)

At right: a portrait of Ernest Vivian Chandler






E.V. Chandler, the middle-weight amateur boxing champion, who is also an expert cyclist. He has won many races on the track, and tried his hand in other sports, such as running, swimming, skating, etc., with much success.

(Newspaper photo and caption from 1912)

On one trip to the U.S.,boarding pass image Ernest arrived in New York with a group of boxers on the White Line ship Olympic, probably on December 22, 1920. (New York Times, December 23, 1920). The Olympic was a sister ship to the Titanic, famously sunk in 1912, and the Britannic sunk in 1916, probably by a German mine, while serving as a British hospital ship. The Olympic continued in service until 1935. At right above: Ernest’s 1920 boarding pass incorporating an image of the Olympic.

Boxing  matches Only two records of Ernest’s boxing matches have been found online. An East Sussex page covering WWI has a story with the headline “Boxing World Champions Fight at Seaford.” In 1917, the troops stationed at the North Camp in Seaford were treated to a unique sporting afternoon when world champions gathered to fight. Top billing went to a match between champions Frank Slavin (billed as the ex-heavyweight champion of the world) and Ernest Chandler (who, at that time, was the serving heavyweight champion of the world). //

In another match documented online, listed as ‘Corporal’ Ernest Chandler of Brighton, England, he fought Jack Dempsey on July 4, 1925.  Ernest fought as the British Army Champion. // lodge/6525/JDRecord.htm

Ernest was victorious in a boxing match reported in the New York Times on January 18, 1921. (Click the link above, or the small newspaper clipping at right, to read the full New York Times story.) The headline was “Visitors Defeat Soldiers, Sailors and Policeman in All Four Amateur Tests.” The lead paragraph, in very flowery language, reads as follows:

One of the most distinguished gatherings of men and women that has ever witnessed a series of boxing bouts in this country gathered last night at the Hotel Commodore to view the program of international amateur contests between American and English army, navy and police boxers. The British boxers made a clean sweep of the series, scoring victories in two army matches, a navy encounter and a battle between policemen. The last bout of an extensive card which included, also, a series of local amateur contests, did not conclude until an early hour this morning.

The event was attended by “more than a thousand leaders in the nation’s industrial, professional and political life.” Colonel Theodore Roosevelt is included in the guest list, but this must be Teddy Jr., (//,_Jr.) since former President Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919.

Ernest and Jeffery Farnol

photo with Ernest ChandlerErnest V. Chandler is in the center of the photograph at left. At right is Jeffery Farnol, a prolific British author of ‘swashbuckling’ novels. The men were friends, and at one time Ernest was Farnol’s agent and secretary. One of Farnol’s many books, Gifford of Weare, published in 1928, was dedicated to Ernest V. Chandler. The dedication referred to Ernest as “My Trusty Friend.”

At left in the photo is Hughson Hawley, American father-in-law of Jeffery Farnol. Mr Hawley was a well-known English-born artist who got his start painting scenery in theatres. In New York he found fame as an artist and architectural renderer and only returned to England in the latter part of his life.

Jeffery Farnol and his American wife lived in the U.S. for a while and, in addition to writing, Jeffery sometimes also supported himself as a scenery painter in New York theatres, and Farnol and his wife were at times supported by his father-in-law, Mr. Hawley.

After Hawley lost all his money in the stock market crash in 1929, he and his wife and another daughter moved to England, where they were in turn financially supported by the now wealthy and famous Farnol. The in-laws lived at Sunnyside, the Farnol home in Brighton, until both Mr. & Mrs. Hawley died.

Ernest Chandler was disliked and mistrusted by some members of Jeffery’s family, including his second wife, but Ernest’s niece, Mrs. Shirley Bishop of Chardonne, Switzerland, ably defended both Ernest and Jeffery in a letter to Farnol’s biographer.

More about Hughson Hawley’s life and career:

More about Jeffery Farnol:

Tragic death

(At right: This sketch of Ernest appeared on the cover of Boxing magazine in 1935, less than a year before his death.)

Ernest died of blood poisoning in August 1936, in Brighton, England, at about age 35. An article in the New York Times titled “Inquest on Captain E. V. Chandler – Death After Giving A Blood Transfusion” reports the verdict of the inquest was “death by misadventure.” Ernest had given a blood transfusion to his friend Sir Harry Preston a fortnight (2 weeks) before his death and some believed the small wound from the transfusion had become infected. Dr. L. R. Janes, pathologist, said death was due to acute septicemia, and all the medical professionals quoted in the article seemed very anxious that the death not be blamed on the process of donating blood. The article mentioned that Captain Chandler died without having been told of Sir Harry’s death. (New York Times, August 22, 1936, Issue 47460, col F, courtesy of Errol Chandler)

The Angus, Scotland, Evening Telegraph reported on August 20, 1936, that Samuel B. Chandler of London, age 52, had died suddenly in London only three days after the death of his brother Ernest. Samuel had traveled to Brighton to visit his dying brother, returning to London after Ernest’s death.

Sir Harry Preston was the owner of several hotels in Brighton, including the Albion opposite the pier, frequented by many of the leading stage and sporting stars of the time. He was a sports promoter, especially boxing, and known for his work with charitable causes. One of his most famous associates was Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and ultimately the Duke of Windsor).

More about Sir Harry Preston:

“Chandler Cup” played yearly at Pyecombe Golf Club in Sussex

Errol discovered that the Pyecombe Golf Club at Pyecombe, Sussex, England, (7 miles from Brighton) holds a Stableford full handicap competition for members every year in September and has done so since 1936. The tournament is shown on the club calendar as the “Chandler Cup,” and the trophy, an engraved silver cup, is known as the “Ernest Chandler Memorial Challenge Cup.” Click on the photograph of the cup at right to see a larger version.

See an explanation of the Stableford Scoring System, invented in 1931 by Dr. Frank Stableford:

How the Stableford Scoring System works

We know that Ernest died of blood poisoning days after giving blood for a transfusion to his friend Sir Harry Preston. The small incision made by the doctor for the transfusion was accidentally opened again while Ernest was playing golf. Blood poisoning set in and he died within days.





At left: Errol Chandler at Pyecombe Golf Club with the Chandler Cup. Errol wrote: “I bet that both Ernest and Jeffery were members at Pyecombe, and that it was on that same golf course that Ernest contracted the blood poisoning. By amazing coincidence I spoke to the club officials this morning, 30th September and was told that the annual competition for the cup was played yesterday, 29th September! They were amazed to receive my call and delighted to have details about Ernest, and to now understand the history of the cup. Apparently, every year, the members ask why their golf club has a boxing cup as a trophy. Now they know!” In a later message, Errol wrote: “I can now add to the Pyecombe Golf Club connection. Ernest Vivian Chandler was Club Secretary for a number of years before his death.” The CFA very much appreciates Pyecombe Golf Club providing the photograph of the trophy. Errol wrote to the club, thanking them on behalf of the CFA, and in October 2013 he traveled to Pyecombe to view the trophy in person.

Norbury Bowling Club Trophy – a second life for another silver cup

Errol later learned of a second cup won in 1914 by Ernest Vivian Chandler that became a trophy in another sport. Ernest won the title “Heavyweight Boxing Champion of Great Britain” and was presented with a solid silver trophy (see photo at left). In 1944, eight years after Ernest’s death, his brother Wilfred James Chandler gave the cup to the Norbury Bowling Club, London, to be played for annually until the bowling club closed in 1966. This “second life” for the cup was inscribed on the cup. It was then returned to Wilfred. After he died in 1986 the cup was sold and disappeared for over 30 years until it was found again in April 2015, 101 years after Ernest first won it. The photographs were taken on May 2, 2015. The cup is solid silver, properly hallmarked and made by Mappin & Webb. It weighs 48 ounces.

Above: Ernest’s 1914 Heavyweight Boxing Champion of Great Britain cup.

Below: Engraving detail from the 1914 cup.

Photos and information provided by CFA member Errol Chandler of Draycott, Somerset, England. Errol is Ernest’s 1st cousin, twice removed. They are members of Chandler DNA Group 71.

Errol Chandler

Redesigned and updated August 10, 2015