The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper (later Major, DSO, MID) John Chanter

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: John Courtenay Chanter

Ancestor's date of birth: 17/02/1881

Ancestor's date of death: 23/02/1962

Cause of Death: Short illness. Fractured neck after a fall 2 weeks before his death.

Service Number: 459

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW Place of Enlistment: Detail not provided

Unit: D Squadron, NSW Citizens' Bushmen

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: On enlistment

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): MAJ, Date Effective: 26/05/1917

Murray Page: 83

Contingent: Third New South Wales

Ship: Atlantian or Maplemore, Date of Sailing: 28/02/1900

Memorial details: War Memorial, Echuca, Vic. Cemetery and War Memorial, Lake Cargelligo, NSW.

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with five clasps. 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Distinguished Service Order (DSO), Mention in Despatches (MID).

Personal Characteristics: "He was a stalwart who served his country well in peace as in war." Mr DG Barwick, former president of the Wheat and Woolgrowers' Association.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided

Details of service in war: April 1900 - April 1901 in Rhodesia, west Transvaal including defence of Elands River Post (4-16 August 1900), and in northern Transvaal, great De Wet hunt (February - March 1901) and advance on Petersburg. "...D Squadron....took part in a severe engagement at Koster River on 22 July 1900, in attempting to relieve the Elands River garrison." (Murray page 71)

Service and life after the Boer War: Married Eileen Daicy. For a few years between the Boer War and the Great War, Chanter served as a Lieutenant with the Victorian Rangers, a Militia unit.

With the outbreak of war in 14 September 1914 Chanter enlisted with the 9th Light Horse Regiment, AIF, as a Troop Commander with the rank of Second Lieutenant. With that regiment he proceeded to Egypt and served at Gallipoli, Palestine and Syria during which service he was promoted to Captain (15 March 1915).

He was transferred to the 4th Light Horse Regiment with the rank of Major and became a Squadron Commander. With the 4th Light Horse he served in Palestine and Syria and was in the second battle of Gaza, hence to Beersheeba which was captured from the Turks and on to Damascus.

During this time he was "Awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry, initiative and devotion whilst leading his squadron across the Jordan near El Min, on the 28 September, 1918, under heavy fire. By personal reconnaissance he found a way across, was one of the first to get over, and he remained under heavy fire assisting and directing his squadron there by keeping casualties down to a minimum. Again on the lst October, 1918 he was in command of the squadron which made the reconnaissance to Meidan Railway Station, and his great dash and determination were the means of securing many thousands of prisoners. Throughout the whole operations he set a fine example to his squadron." (Extract from the Citation of Major J.C. Chanter's DSO)

Major Chanter also received Mentions in Despatches.

In December 1918, Major Chanter was invalided to Australia with chronic bronchitis after pneumonia, embarking on the H.M.T. 'Somali' at Suez on Christmas Eve and disembarked at Melbourne about 8 January 1919.

In the post war years J.C. Chanter prospered as a dairy farmer at Wyuna in Victoria until 1927 when he sold his property and moved to Lake Cargelligo in NSW to a newly established property "Wyuna Park". He continued with his farming activities until his death.

Chanter was elected to the Deakin Shire Council in Victoria. He was President when he resigned in 1927. He was made a Life Governor of Echuca District Hospital and was active in forming the Progressive Country Party in Victoria.

In 1928 he was elected to the Lachlan Shire Council in NSW and was President for two terms until elected to the New South Wales Parliament.

J.C. Chanter was elected to the Lachlan constituency in the Parliament of NSW in 1943. He held the seat for two terms and was instrumental in the inauguration of the Wheat Growers' Union of which he was a foundation member for N.S.W. He was prominent in this during the depression years and was elected to the Investigating Committee of the Rural Reconstruction Board from 1933 to 1938. Through this, Chanter was very instrumental reconstructing the South-West to the prospering community of today.

Chanter was also very active in civic affairs. He was president of the Tongala Show Society in Victoria, president of the Echuca Football Club, president of the Lake Cargelligo P. A. & H. (Pastoral, Agricultural & Horticultural) Society for two years and a foundation member and president of the Lake Cargelligo Bowling Club for nine years. His name has been given to a street in Lake Cargelligo.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Judith Ann Higson, Newport NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Granddaughter

Name of Descendant: Mary Ann Plain, Newport NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Daughter


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