Walter Stanley Chapman was born in the summer of 1897, the younger of two boys to William and Sarah (known as Annie) Chapman. William was a carter on a farm in North Cadbury, near Yeovil, Somerset, and this is where the young family grew up.
When he left school, Walter became apprenticed to a local carpenter, but war was on the horizon. His older brother Frederick was quick to enlist, joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Private. He served on HMS Hood during the Battle of Jutland in the spring of 1916, and was killed during the fighting. He was buried at sea, and was just 23 years old when he died.
The loss of his brother may have spurred Walter into action. He enlisted as well, joining the 1/4th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry as a Private. Details of his service are limited, but his battalion served in Mesopotamia during the conflict, and it is likely that he spent some time in the region.
Private Chapman survived the war, and returned to Somerset on furlough, waiting to be demobbed. Sadly, he passed away during this time, breathing his last on 19th April 1919, at the age of just 21 years old. William and Annie had lost both of their sons because of the conflict.
Walter Stanley Chapman was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Michael’s Church in his home village of North Cadbury. His gravestone also commemorates the passing of his older brother.