Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 1, 1864
Place of BirthBelfast, County Antrim
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinIsabel Kelly Chapman (wife), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / Callingphysician
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion10th Training Depot
ForceBritish and Canadian Expeditionary Forces
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 13, 1918
Age at Enlistment53
Theatre of ServiceMesopotamia
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 30, 1930
Age at Death66
Buried AtMount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario

Chapman, William James

William James Chapman was born on 01 November 1864 in Belfast, Ireland. He was the oldest son of Benjamin Chapman and Maria Chew. In 1866 the Chapman family immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto where Benjamin practiced his trade of watchmaker and jeweler. Other children in the family were Elizabeth, Charles, Julia, Edward and Benjamin Jr.

William studied at the University of Toronto and graduated as an physician. Some time in the 1890’s he moved to Rat Portage (now Kenora), Ontario and established his practice. On 02 June 1898 he married Isabel Kelly Craig in Wellington, Ontario and brought her back to Rat Portage.

At the outbreak of WW1 William volunteered for active service, however, being over the age limit he was not accepted. So, in August 1915 he traveled to England where he was attached to the Royal  Army Medical Corp. He was an officer with a Welsh field ambulance corp and was sent with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force via hospital ship to the eastern theatre of war in the campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula. The London Gazette reported his appointment as Lieutenant in September of 1915. William spent time with forces in Egypt in actions on the Suez Canal. He earned the Victory, British and 1915 Star medals and returned to Canada in December of 1916.

Dr. Chapman re-enlisted with the Army Medical Corps in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 13 May 1918. He was taken on staff at Tuxedo Military Hospital in Winnipeg and became D.A.D.M.S (Deputy Assistant of Director of Medical Services)  for Military District #10. In November 1918 William was granted the rank of Major. He continued to serve in Canada until being struck off strength due to demobilization on 07 August 1922.

Dr. Chapman and his wife moved to Toronto. He took post graduate work in London, England and Vienna and became an eye specialist. Upon his return he practiced in Toronto and was oculist at the General Hospital.

Predeceased by his wife Isabel on 20 September 1927, Dr. William James Chapman passed away in Toronto on 30 November 1930. They are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

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Gravemarker photo courtesy of Islington on

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