The Chapman Line












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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB







Etheldreda Annie Chapman (1885 to 1972)




Etheldreda was born on 10 January 1885 at 2 Denby Grove, Denby Road, Croydon, Surrey and baptised on 1 March 1885.




In 1891 she lived at Croydon.


In 1901 she lived at Croydon.


On 2 April 1911, she lived at Worthing, Sussex. She was a boarding house keeper.





On 8 July 1925, she married Percy Robert Buckingham (1891 to 1975) at Brighton, Sussex.




Margaret Anne Buckingham, 1928 to 2012




She died, aged 87, at 1 Mill Road, Worthing, Sussex in 1972.





















                       The Buckingham Line

Walter J Chapman (1851 to 26 April 1937)




Walter J Chapman was born at Eversholt, Bedfordshire in 1851. He was baptised on 6 April 1851.





1851 Census – Brook End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 30, schoolmaster

Sophia Chapman, 28

Walter Chapman, 1 month


1861 census – Church End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 40, school master

Sophia Chapman 37, schoolmistress

Walter Chapman, 10

Alice M Chapman, 8




Walter, then an ironmonger, married Annie Mariah Byron (1854 to 1917) on 27 December 1881 in the Church of St Andrew the Great, Cambridge. Annie was born at Green Lane, Battersea on 30 December 1854.


The marriage certificate was signed William H Byron, her father.




·         Margaret Sophie Chapman, 1882 to 1963. Margaret was born on 22 September 1882 in Croydon. She married Robert Norman (1879 to 1967) in about 1917.

o   Their son was Robert Charles Eric (Eric) Norman (About 1919 to 1974). Eric married Sybil in about 1942 om Holy Trinity, Brompton and they had two children, Angela and Nichola. Angela married HSN Chamberlain and they had three children, Nejamin, Natalie and Duncan.

o   Their daughter was Etheldreda nee Norman who was born on 14 June 1923. She was also known as Joy. Joy married Ronald Holman in about 1943 at Holy Trinity, Brompton. They lived at Cheltenham. Their children were Julia (who married Sandy Guthrie with children, Denise, Lexie, Tina and William) and Tania (who married Ralph Richardson with children Amanda and Brian).



Margaret Chapman and Robert Norman



Eric Norman (‘Uncle Eric’)


·         Etheldreda Annie Chapman, 1885 to 1972 – see above.


·         Harold Byron James Chapman, 1888 to 1917 (Harold married Gertrude Peck 1890 to ?), and their daughter was Monica Chapman (1917 to 1998). Monica married Robert Alexander Symes-Schutzman (Bob Symes) on 4 December 1946 at Fulham). Their children were Roberta and Edwin.


Bob Symes obituary


Bob Symes (Robert Alexander Schutzmann von Schutzmannsdorff), television presenter, producer and film-maker, born 6 May 1924; died 19 January 2015


Television presenter, producer and film-maker with a passion for engineering and railways


Bob Symes, broadcaster and railwayman, who has died aged 90

Bob’s Trains in his garden


Bob Symes’s inventive mind and considerable engineering skills made him a natural choice in 1965 to join the small team producing the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, the series about new developments in science and technology. Bob, who has died aged 90, appeared on screen regularly, first of all assisting Raymond Baxter and, in later years, with a regular feature in his own right. He continued to contribute to the programme for more than 30 years.


His special interest was in metal engineering, including developments in plumbing. His Tomorrow’s World colleagues particularly remember his presentations of a device that automatically removed air from central heating systems, an innovative ventilator for bathrooms and a process for relining broken water mains without having to dig up the road.


Alongside this, he developed a parallel broadcasting and film-making career. Bob contributed to BBC Radio 4, the British Forces Broadcasting Service, LBC and numerous local stations in the UK and Europe. His many television credits included The Man Who Started the War (1965) and the 1986 series The Strange Affair of … that investigated intriguing mysteries from his central European heritage. His love of railways was reflected in such programmes as Model World (1975), The Line That Refused to Die (1980) and Making Tracks (1993-95). His concern for the environment found an ideal outlet in 1990 in the BBC’s The House That Bob Built, a pioneer project demonstrating the ecological benefit of rethinking how we construct our homes.


When the Waverley Line rail route between Carlisle and Edinburgh closed in 1969, Bob set up and chaired the Border Union Railway, a company established to keep the line operating. Though he was unsuccessful then, he did live long enough to see the rebuilding of the route between Edinburgh and Galashiels, now recognised as a key transport artery in the Scottish Borders.


Bob always had a preference for travelling by train. On one filming expedition for Tomorrow’s World in 1977, he and his small team were welcomed at the railway station in Cologne by a local oompah band organised by admirers from the German broadcaster WDR, with whom he regularly collaborated.


Bob was born into an aristocratic family in Vienna, the son of Herbert and Lolabeth Schutzmann von Schutzmannsdorff, and was educated at the Real Gymnasium in Vienna and later at a school in Switzerland. He developed his interest in railways by operating the private line that hauled timber around the family estate, and helping to keep it in good repair. Bob’s father died in 1937 and, as the influence of the Nazis took hold in his homeland, he left for a new life in Britain; his mother and younger sister, Eva, settled in the US.


During the second world war, Bob served in the Mediterranean with the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander, and took part in the landings that led to the liberation of Crete. In 1947 he visited the BBC to seek out Monica Chapman, who was responsible for producing the request programme Forces Prom. He wanted to thank her in person for playing the choices that he had submitted. The story goes that Monica’s mother gave up her ticket that evening to a Beethoven concert so that her daughter could invite this naval officer to join her. The two were married six weeks later, and they adopted the surname Symes, one of Monica’s family names.


Bob quickly realised that his languages, French as well as German, English and Arabic, could be valuable to the BBC. Following his wartime naval career, he joined the corporation’s Overseas Service in 1953, focusing in particular on the German service. His London-based work was interrupted in 1956 by a two-year assignment as district officer in the Eastern Region Colonial Office in Nigeria, where he was in charge of broadcasting.


Bob’s many other responsibilities and commitments included chairing the Institute of Patentees and Inventors, and he stood twice for parliament in 1974 as the Liberal candidate for Mid Sussex. He was made a companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1959 but perhaps the recognition of which he was most proud was being awarded the Knight’s Cross (first class) by the country of his birth, in recognition of his tireless work in promoting Anglo-Austrian relations.


At his home in Surrey, he built both a gauge 1 and a larger, 10.25in-gauge garden layout and regularly hosted steaming afternoons attended by admiring railway enthusiasts from all over the UK and northern Europe. At his 90th birthday party, he drove his pride and joy, his newest locomotive, a scale model of a Great Western tank engine, the Lady Melrose.


Monica died in 1998. While visiting the Ffestiniog Railway in north Wales in 2006, Bob met Sheila, a plant physiologist, who was works manager at the line’s locomotive depot at Boston Lodge. They were married within two months.


Bob is survived by Sheila, and by his daughter, Roberta, from his first marriage, his stepsons, Matthew and Kester, and four grandchildren.



Monica Chapman was the Producer of Desert island Discs and Your Concert Choice.


Desert Island Discs, Castaways through the years - Dame Margot Fonteyn with  Producer Monica Chapman and Roy Plomley, 1965. - BBC Radio 4

Producer Monica Chapman with Dame Margot Fonteyn and Roy Plumley in 1965



·         Reginald Cecil Chapman, 1892 to 1966 (Reginald married Dorothy May Appleby (1894 to ?) at Wandsworth in 1923

o   Their son was Anthony (Tony) Paul Chapman (23 January 1925 to 2006) who married Heather. Their children were Philip and Victoria.




1891 Census – 4 Stanton Road, Croydon


Walter Chapman, 40, ironmonger

Annie M Chapman, 36, schoolmistress (born Battersea)

Margaret S Chapman, 8

Etheldreda A Chapman, 6

Harold B J Chapman, 2

Sophia Chapman, 68



1901 Census – Eversholt, Staton Road, Croydon


Walter Chapman, 50, iron founder’s salesman

Annie Chapman, 46, his wife, school teacher

Margaret Chapman, 18, school teacher

Etheldreda Chapman, 16

Harold B J Chapman, 12

Reginald Chapman, 8

Sophia Chapman, mother, widow, 78




Walter died at 20 Marine Parade, Worthing on 26 April 1937.






























The Byron Line

 James Chapman (1821 to 1896) The Schoolmaster




James Chapman was born in Stoke Newington, Surrey in 1821




James married Sophia Kingston in 1849 at Ampthill, Bedfordshire




Walter J Chapman 1851 to 1937

Alice Mary Chapman 1853 to ?

James Cecil Chapman 1965 to ?




1851 Census – Brook End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 30, schoolmaster

Sophia Chapman, 28

Walter Chapman, 1 month


1861 census – Church End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 40, school master

Sophia Chapman 37, schoolmistress

Walter Chapman, 10

Alice M Chapman, 8


1871 Census - Church End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 50, Master of School

Sophia Chapman, 47, Teacher of needlework

Alice Mary Chapman, 18

James Cecil Chapman, 5


1881 census – Church End, Eversholt, Bedfordshire


James Chapman, 60, school master

Sophia Chapman, 56, school master’s wife

Elizabeth Mary Burchby, 21, School assistant





He died in 1896 and was buried on 6 June 1896 at St John, Woking, Surrey.