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The Chandler Family Association

Chandler Memories Page 8

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photo of John William Chandler Family


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Send your old photos of long ago Chandler family groups, reunions or locations to Claudia at

This page: Chandler Family of England and South Africa (Genetic Chandler Family #71)
Messrs. S. Chandler and Sons
Leslie Chandler of Wales, England, Russia and South Africa
Ernest Vivian Chandler, World Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Champion



Messrs. S. Chandler
and Sons

CFA member Errol Chandler in England sent an 1893 newspaper article about a Chandler celebration held in Wrexham, a small town in North Wales.

We wish we could have a photograph of this festive occasion - but we will have to let our imaginations and the reporter's words paint a picture instead.

This family belongs to Chandler DNA Group 71. You can read more about them on this page (see Leslie Chandler of Wales, England, Russia and South Africa) and on the Chandler Sightings page (Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler, Ltd., London).


Click on the image above to open a 4-page PDF of the entire article. You can then use the Adobe Reader controls to zoom the image to a comfortable reading size. When you finish reading the article, close that window and you should find this screen still open behind.

Errol wrote:

Attached is a newspaper report describing a celebratory dinner given by  S. Chandler & Sons (my paternal great-great grandfather, my great grandfather and my grandfather). It was held to mark a milestone achievement in a coal mine they owned in Wales.

This mine was a major source for a type of coal called Cannel Coal. It was highly prized as the best coal for producing gas.

At about the same time they were also the majority shareholders in a Welsh gold mine. It is not generally known that gold is mined in Wales to this very day. By long-standing tradition every gold wedding band exchanged in the British Royal Family is made from pure Welsh gold.

The style of journalism is so evocative .... when reading the report you feel that you were present and enjoying the occasion.  

I must say that they did not hold back on drinking toasts, reciting poems and singing their appreciation of one another!    

The 6th line from the end of the article starts with the words...'by Dr. Jones'.  He was my maternal great-grandfather. So it was quite a family affair. He also got in on the proposing of toasts and mutual back-slapping!

I previously sent you pictures of the machinery manufactured by their other business, Kirkham, Hulett & Chandler Limited, for extracting gas from coal.

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., Errol’s great-grand-uncle, and Josiah Chandler, Errol’s 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 Samuel’s 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 Samuel’s 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 Josiah’s testimonial is unknown.

Errol Chandler with testimonial
Above, Errol Chandler with the testimonial presented
to his great-grand-uncle Samuel Chandler, Jr. At right,
the framed testimonial, well over 100-years-old.

View PDF of transcription of testimonial

Clicking on the link above will open a new browser window. Close that window to return to this page.

images of testimonial

Errol Chandler

Updated October 6, 2014

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Leslie Chandler of Wales, England, Russia and South Africa

photograph of Leslie Chandler in East London, South Africa, in 1937Errol 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.

photo of Errol Chandler and siblings in South AfricaAfter 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.

Errol Chandler

November 30, 2012

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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.

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The Chandler Family Association
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The Chandler Family Association
Updated August 11, 2015

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