Lieutenant Colonel W.K. Chandler
43rd (Cameron Highlanders) Battalion
Instances of desertion have been limited to three cases all of which were men from desertion in the face of the enemy was to be anticipated, execution of the sentence of death would I submit be punitive only; the general state of discipline does not call for an example being made in this case.
(Chandler to General Horne, 1918)
William Kellman Chandler was born in Barbados, British West Indies on 1 November 1883. Sir His father, Sir William Kellman Chandler (1857—1940) was president of the Barbados legislative council. Educated at Cambridge, he moved to Winnipeg to become a barrister with the law firm of Cameron and Phillips. He joined the 43rd Cameron Highlanders in August 1914.
Chandler briefly succeeded William Grassie in command of the 43rd from 4 November to 23 December 1917. Hugh McIntyre Urquhart took over until 16 August 1918 when Chandler assumed permanent command. He led the Highlanders through the final Hundred Days Offensive until the armistice.
On returning home to Winnipeg, he reported: There has always been an excellent spirit prevailing between officers and men. I and we have always been one big happy family. As we reach the shores of Canada, we think of the gallant boys whom we have left behind on the battlefields of Europe. They fought nobly and died in the cause of righteousness. They made the supreme sacrifice and although today they sleep In Flanders fields, their name endures forever.
The only original officer to return with the battalion, Chandler received the Distinguished Service Order and the Croix de Guerre and was twice mentioned in dispatches. He worked as legal adviser to the Solder Settlement Board and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He died in Winnipeg on 28 August 1948.