b. 20/04/1900 Sherborne, Dorset. d. 09/03/1968 New Forest, Hampshire.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 24/09/1921 Nilambur, India.
Frederick Hector Dundonald Chant (1900-1968) was born on 20th April 1900 in Sherborne, Dorset, the 2nd eldest of five children born to Herbert and Flora Chant (nee Hallett). He had two brothers (Wiilliam Albert Wilfred and Henry Ethelbert) and two sisters (Irene Marina and Lucy Gwendolinee Gladys). Herbert Chant was a Farm Carter at the time of Frederick’s birth. The family lived on a farm in Poynington, near Sherborne. Frederick helped out on the farm as a child.
In 1918, Frederick lied about his age in order to enlist in the Devonshire Regiment. On the 5th February 1919 he joined the Dorsetshire Regiment and was posted to India. During a period of political unrest the 2nd Battalion including Private Frederick Chant was sent down to South Malabar on the South West coast as part of the Bangalore mobile column. The operation to quell the rebellion would take over four months in difficult mountainous terrain. On 24th September 1921, Private Chant used his Lewis gun at close range against the enemy, who were occupying a house and firing at him. His gun jammed, but he calmly got up and fetched a rifle and maintained his fire in the rebels with coolness and deliberation. He, with Private Frederick Troake, subsequently showed great courage in clearing the rebels from the gardens and jungle around the house.
After the end of the rebellion, Chant and the Battalion were posted to Sudan, where he served until 3rd July 1922. He returned to England, where he moved to Lymington, Dorset and joined the Hampshire Regiment. He was promoted to Corporal and became an Instructor of the Lewis Gun. On 2nd June 1923 he was gazetted alongside Sergeant William Hand MM, Private Thomas Miller, Private Frederick Troake and Assistant George Rodrigues for the award of the Empire Gallantry Medal for their actions in the Malabar Rebellion.
In 1924, Frederick married Elsie Tomkins in Lymington, and the couple went on to have four children. Little more is known about Frederick’s later life, except that following the Second World War, he was working in a shipbuilding yard near Lymington. On 29th July 1947, he attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace where King George VI presented with the George Cross.
Frederick Chant passed away on 9th March 1968 in Hampshire, and he was buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard, Boldre. His widow Elsie passed away in 1980 and was buried with him. Frederick’s medals including his GC, India General Service Medal 1908-35 with clasp “Malabar 1921-1922” and 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal are privately held.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, BOLDRE, HAMPSHIRE.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Picture - Kevin Brazier