Friday, October 25, 2013

Leading Seaman Matthew Chisam

There was only one Matthew Chisam in the CWGC records. 

Family Information
Born 31st May 1872 in Workington, Cumberland, the son of John and Margaret Chisam.

The 1881 census shows that John was employed as a commercial clerk at an Iron works and Matthew had a younger brother Joseph. They all lived at 10 Southey Street, Workington. 

The 1891 census shows that Matthew was a sailor, his brother Joseph was a fitters apprentice at an iron works and their father John was still employed as an ironworks clerk. Matthew's grandmother (maternal) Elizabeth Ellwood was with them - a widow living on her own means. Their address was 17 Marsh Side, Workington.

Matthew's father, John Chisam, died on 12th February 1897 in Marsh-side, Cumberland, the probate record shows that he left £90 to his widow. 

In 1902 Matthew Chisam married Agnes Singers Meneely in Magherafelt, Ireland. 

The 1911 census shows Matthew and Agnes living at 3 Emerson Street, Liverpool. Matthew's occupation is Mariner with a note added to say 'Merchant services' Matthew was actually away at sea at the time of the census. Further details on the census show that they had 5 children, 2 of whom have died. The 3 surviving children on the census are James Singers Chisam, born in Workington 1903. Isabella Maneely Chisam born in Magherafelt, Ireland, in 1904 and Agnes Chisam, 5, born in Liverpool. These births show us how the family had moved around, probably with Matthew's occupation as a merchant seaman. 

Royal Navy
Matthew Chisam's Royal Naval Reserve record is available  via National Archives online - the following information is taken from there.

Date of enrolment: 4th November 1898 number D 2062
He had 15 years 7months previous service in reserve.

Matthew was 5ft 4inches tall with a fair complexion, a 39inch chest measurement and grey eyes. He had tattoos of a woman and flag on his right arm, a sailor with two flags and a rose on his left arm. It also says 'bracelets' with a mark that could be a cross or a star.

His address was 21 Tarbet St.

He died in Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, on the 24th Sept 1918 from pneumonia - it is likely that he was one of the many deaths from the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Matthew Chisam
Act Ldg Smn
Birth Date:
31 May 1872
Birth Place:
Workington, CumberlandEngland
Branch of Service:
Royal Naval Reserve
Cause of Death:
Died from disease
Official Number Port Division:
Death Date:
24 Sep 1918
Ship or Unit:
HMS President III
Location of Grave:
D (Naval Area) 105
Name and Address of Cemetery:
City Cemetery Glenalina Extension, BelfastCounty Antrim
Relatives Notified and Address:
Widow: Mrs, Agnes, Chisam, 19 Tarbet Street Liverpool

Death and Commemoration
Mathew Chisam was buried in Belfast City Cemetery, his widow Agnes requested that his headstone bear the words "Thy Will Oh Lord, Not Mine, Be Done." 

Click here to go to the CWGC entry for Mathew Chisam.

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