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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

The Rev Lawrence Godfrey Chamberlen - CF to a tank battalion


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Has anyone information on Lawrence Chamberlen's service with the Tank Corps; I am hoping to confirm the battalion in which he served

Many thanks in advance

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Hello delta

Strictly speaking, chaplains were not allocated to battalions as MOs were, but to brigades in groups of four: one C of E, one Rc, one Free Church and another of the denomination to which the majority of the men belonged. In each division there were a further five chaplains to look after the artillery etc.

This is not to say that, apart from taking services and their other pastoral duties, chaplains did not spend most of their time with a particular battalion, carrying out welfare duties of various kinds.

You might like to have a look at the War Diaries of the tank brigades and battalions, once they have been digitised.


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My experience on looking into a Tank Battalion Chaplain was as follows.

In 1918 my grandmother received a letter informing her of my grandfather's death from a T A Lee, who described himseif as T A Lee Chaplain 9th Battalion Tanks. In another letter to the relatives of an officer killed in the same action he signed simply as Chaplain.

I looked at this Chaplain's service record at Kew and found that there wasn't really any service record.The only details in the file were from a letter that the Chaplain himself had written after the war, which was broadly along the lines of " I did this, this and this and can I please be released from service so that I can continue my religious training and development".

I suspect therefore that the best way of confirming the battalion served in is to try and locate letters written by your Lawrence Chamberlen to the relatives of casualties in that particular battalion. Not an easy task.


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  • 4 weeks later...

That;s a good idea.

I will drop down and see him in the New Year - the Museum is only a fifteen minute drive away

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  • 2 months later...

Reverend L G Chamberlen's medals were sold on Ebay in 2007.

The book 'The Tank Corps Honours and Awards 1916 - 1919 in list of 'Honours other than Immediate Awards' as Capt.Chamberlen, L.G., 8th Tank Battn.

His medal group consists of the Military Cross (L.G. 1.1.1919) British War Medal and Victory Medal.

He was born 1890 at 5 Twyford Place, Tiverton. Obtained a BA at Oxford 1912, MA 1916. Trained for the Anglican ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge in 1913, served as Temporary Chaplain to the Forces 1917 - 19.

He later served in parishes at Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Toddington, Cheltenham, Greenfield Sway, Limington. Died in early 1980s.

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That's really useful information - thank you.

I was looking to find the link between the service of Tom Bernard, who knew Padre Chamberlen and other parrts of his story.

I thibk I have found it though 8th Battalion - which was in action at Hamel on 4 Jul at Hamel


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