Filmer Chiswell

Date of birth:  1891
Place of birth:  Southampton
Service No.:  77260
Rank:  Gunner
Regiment / Division:  Royal Field Artillery
Battalion:  7th Royal Engineers
Died: 30th April 1915 aged 23 years

Military Service
The military record of Filmer Chiswell has not survived. We know from his medal index card that in WW1 he served as a gunner in the 7th RE unit Royal Field Artillery (service number:77260) having enlisted on 20th August 1914.

He died on 30th April 1915 aged 23.

His medal index card says he was awarded the Victory medal, the British medal and 1914 Star medal in recognition of his services to his country. However the index card has also says he was “deleted from 1914-15 Star Roll”. That could indicate that he was first assumed to have been with the main body of the battalion but it was later discovered that he was not. The actual reason for his removal is not known. Filmer Chiswell is inscribed on the cenotaph at Southampton “lest we forget” and is commemorated at the Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France with 3177 other soldiers.  He is also memorialised on his family’s grave at Southampton Old Cemetery:

CHISWELL, Filmer   Gunner 77260

The 1914 bronze Star campaign medal of the British Empire was authorized by King George V in April 1917 for those who had served in France or Belgium between 5th August 1914 to midnight on 22nd November 1914. The recipients were responsible for assisting the French to hold back the German army while new recruits could be trained and equipped. Collectively, they fully deserve a great deal of honour for their part in the first sixteen weeks of the Great War. Also known as the Mons Star. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip’.

The silver British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.

The bronze Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.

Life before the war
Filmer Chiswell was born the second son to William James Chiswell general labourer (1854-1924) and Ellen Sarah nee Chandler (1857-1917) who had married in 1878.
They had a total of seven children but by 1911 one had died in infancy.
The following children of William James and Ellen Sarah Chiswell are confirmed from parish records:

  1. Ellen Matilda was born in 1879
  2. Ethel Maud was born in 1881. In 1903 she married George Munday and they had 7 children.
  3. Louise Josephine was born in 1888.  She was very unlucky in her marriages.  Her first husband Harry Holman, whom she married in 1907 died in 1912 in the Titanic disaster. Her second husband Albert GE Conabeer whom she married in 1914 died in 1921. Her third husband Daniel J Houston whom she married in 1933 died in 1938. Her fourth husband William Smith whom she married in 1941 outlived her. Louise Josephine died on the 18th February 1957 leaving an estate to the solicitors of £899 17s 5d.
  4. William James was born in 1889. He enlisted in the 21st Hampshire Horse regiment (number 618101) where he spent 4 years as a gunner. In 1917 he suffered severe gunshot wounds to the head and right arm and was sent to King George Hospital. He died in 1930 and left an estate of £513 19s 4d to his sister Louise Josephine Conabeer – widow.
  5. Filmer was born in 1891.
  6.  Harry Louis was born in 1898

In 1881 the family lived at 18 Clifton Terrace. William James was a coal man.
In 1891 the family lived at 9 Spa Road. William James was still a coal man.
In 1901 the family lived at 1 Brinton Terrace. William James was a wash house man. Filmer would have been at school though this is not stated on the census return.
In 1911 the family lived at 10 Andersons Road. Father William James was a general labourer. Filmer was employed as a railway porter for London and South West Railway company.

His mother Ellen Sarah died in 1917.
His father William James died in the summer of 1924 aged 69.

Researched by DHW – April 2013.
If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you.  Many thanks.


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