|COMPANY SERGEANT-MAJOR EDWARD CHAPMAN VC, BEM, THE MONMOUTHSHIRE REGIMENT, HAS DIED, AGED 82, ONE OF THE LAST VCs AWARDED TOWARDS THE END OF WWII.|
|The Times, 5 February 2002|
|The death has been announced, on 3rd February 2002, of Company Sergeant Major Edward Chapman VC, BEM, at New Inn, Monmouthshire. He was later buried in Panteg Cemetery, New Inn.|
|Edward Chapman first saw action in June 1944 when his battalion, 2nd Bn, Monmouthshire Regiment, landed in Normandy as part of the 160th Brigade in the 53rd Welsh Division. He was a corporal commanding a section throughout the fighting in the beachhead and was wounded in the breakout at Falaise in August 1944.
When he came out of hospital five weeks later he was posted to the 3rd Battalion and saw action with it in the fight for the Low Countries in the autumn of 1944, and in the crossing of the Rhine and the advance into Germany in 1945. He won his Victoria Cross during the advance on Osnabrück after the crossing of the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
|On 2nd April 1945, the 3rd Monmouths began what were to develop into repeated - and costly - attacks on the thickly wooded ridge of the Teutoberger Wald. This symbolic forest was being held by a fanatical dedicated force of German officer cadets and their instructors from the Officer School in Hannover, who were making a last stand.
[ London Gazette, 13 July 1945 ], Teutoburger Wald, Germany, 2 April 1945, Corporal Edward Thomas Chapman, 3rd Bn, Monmouthshire Regiment.
On 2nd April 1945, a Company of the Monmouthshire Regiment crossed the Dortmund- Ems canal and was ordered to assault the ridge of the Teutoberger Wald, which dominates the surrounding country. This ridge is steep thickly wooded and is ideal defensive country. It was, moreover, defended by a battalion of German officer cadets and their instructors, all of them picked men and fanatical Nazis.Edward Chapman was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on the 31st July 1945.
Edward Chapman was a successful breeder of Welsh Mountain Ponies and he was a familiar figure at successive Royal Welsh Shows. His other passion was fly-fishing, fishing in rivers, streams, lochs and lakes all over the United Kingdom. Missing the Army, he rejoined the 2nd Monmouths in 1948, and was awarded the BEM in 1953 for his outstanding services to the Territorial Army. He retired from the TA in 1957 as a much respected company sergeant-major.
( select to enlarge )
|Medal entitlement of Company Sergeant Major Edward Chapman,
3rd Bn, The Monmouthshire Regiment
Iain Stewart, 5 February 2002