Second Lieutenant, Suffolk Regiment (7th Battalion: 12th Division)
Born: June 29th 1886
Died: July 3rd 1916
Age at Death: 30
Killed in action near Ovillers, Somme, France, July 3rd 1916
Commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial MR.21
Son of John Charles Chalk, Solicitor, and Mrs Beatrice Chalk of Brighton.
Brother to Charles Harold Chalk (Ha. 1890-1892), BC reg. 2539, and Vernon Leslie Chalk (Ha. 1890-1894), BC reg. 2552.
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by Edward Romain (Ry.1999-2004).
Theodore Wilson Chalk (Hampden 1897-1903)
Theodore Chalk was born in Brighton on 29th January 1886. He was the youngest son and fourth child of John Chalk, a solicitor who died just before he was born, and his wife Beatrice (nee Ellis). Whilst at the College he was a noted Fives player, representing the school in a national competition in 1900 and also played for the 2nd XI football and 3rd XI cricket teams. In 1903 he also became both a school prefect and a corporal in the OTC.
It appears that following her husband’s death his mother lived for some time with her wealthy parents in Brighton where Chalk and his two brothers both attended the College but that the family home moved at some point to Kensington, London as that is the addressed listed on her son’s probate record. It is unclear what Chalk did after leaving the College prior to the war breaking out but it seems likely that he spent some time abroad as he was absent from the country for the 1911 census. Furthermore, he did not immediately enlist on the outbreak of war, another indicator that he was abroad, but received a commission in the Suffolk Regiment, in September 1915. After receiving his initial training with the 3rd Battalion, a home service depot unit, he was attached to the 7th Battalion, part of the 12th (Eastern) Division. The division was moved forward to relieve the assault divisions on the Somme on the night of the 1st July 1916 and attempted to continue the disastrous attack on Ovillers-la-Boisselle through a night attack. Although the attack was initially successful, the 7th Suffolks carrying two lines of German trenches, it later got bogged down in the face of intense German fire. At some point during the aftermath of this attack, on 3rd July, Chalk was reported missing and never seen again. The grant of Probate given to his mother in 1919 simply states that he was died ‘on or after 3rd July 1916’.
Chalk has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15