RN Paymaster's Medals
John Henry George Chapple was born  4 Dec ’
59 in Queenstown, Ireland.

He was the son of Captain John R. Chapple*,
RN & received his early education at the Royal
Naval School at New Cross in South London.

Chapple’s career in the R.N. commenced on
board HMS Royal Adelaide as an Ass’t Clerk
on 15 Jan ’76.

His first seagoing appointment was to HMS
Shah**(unarmoured Frigate of 1873) 14 Aug
’76, on the Pacific station, where he was
promoted to Clerk
on 14 Jan ’77.
Chapple left Shah on 31 Oct ’79 & served ashore until being posted on 16 Sep ’80 to HMS Carysfort(Corvette of 1878) in the
Mediterranean fleet. Whilst on HMS Carysfort he was promoted to Assistant Paymaster on 4 Dec ’80, receiving a 1st class Certificate for
his Paymaster examination.

Carysfort arrived in Egypt too late for the fleet bombardment of Alexandria on 11 July, but did contribute men for the Naval brigade
ashore.  Chapple was among these & saw action at the battles of El Magfar, Tel-el-Mahuta, the night action at Kassassin, battle of Tel-el-
Kebir, & the skirmish at Zagazig.
Chapple rec’d the 1882 Egypt medal & clasp for Tel –el–Kebir. There were only 28 awards of the TEK clasp to HMS Carysfort.

On 11 December he led a small expedition into Egypt to attempt to discover the whereabouts of Professor Edward Palmer. Palmer was
Interpreter in Chief to the armed forces of Egypt. Prof. Palmer & a small party had been sent to enlist the support of the sheikhs for the
proposed occupation of Egypt by British forces & for the protection of the Suez canal.  Palmer’s party left Suez on 8 August & the last
communication from them was on Aug 11.  Chapple’s search party located the remains of the men who had been murdered in the desert
by Bedouins some time before. It was determined that Palmer’s party had been ambushed & killed but no reasons for their murder was
established. ***

For his services in the 1882 Egypt campaign Chapple was awarded the Order of the Medjidie (5th class) by the Khedive of Egypt.

Chapple remained on Carysfort & saw subsequent service ashore in the Soudan campaign of 1884, earning the Suakin ’84 clasp to his
Egypt medal. Chapple was Paymaster for the Naval Brigades serving ashore during the 1884 Suakin campaigns.  
He left HMS Carysfort upon the completion of her commission, 15 Apl ’84.
During the time Chapple served on Shah she
was engaged with the Peruvian Turret Ship
Huascar off the River Ylo  on 29 May ’77 when
the first torpedo was fired from Shah in a ship
to ship sea action. At that time Chile & Peru
were at war with each other.  For John Chapple
this was the first of many actions he was to
witness & participate in during his long RN

He also saw extensive shore service with the
Naval Bde in the Zulu war of ’79. He was
present at the major battle of Gingihlovo on 2
Apl ‘79 & accompanied the Naval Brigade on the
march to Port Durnford.

For his service in the Naval Bde Chapple rec’d
the 1879 clasp to his Zulu war medal, 93 clasps
being awarded to HMS Shah’s  brigade..

Pictured right is Chapple's South Africa
medal which shows the unique naming
style to
HMS Shah and other ships.

Lower Right:
HMS Caryfort circa 1880

HMS Shah circa 1876
After a year ashore he was appointed on 16 Apl
‘85 to HMS Ruby(Corvette of ’76), also serving in
the Mediterranean fleet.  Whilst serving on Ruby
Chapple was promoted to Paymaster on 11 Dec ’
88, he being: “promoted for distinguished services
in the Zulu War”. ****

His was next appointed on 16 May ’89 to HMS
Agincourt as Secretary to Rear Admiral R.A.
White, Second in Command of the Channel Sqdn.

He remained in this appointment until being
appointed on 4 Feb ‘90 to HMS Warspite as
Secretary to Rear Admiral C.F. Hotham, C in C of
the Pacific Sqdn.
He remained in this appointment until 15 June ’

Upon his return to England he married Edith
Blanche Dyson, daughter of Rev Wm Dyson. They
subsequently had a son & a daughter.*****

Appointments ashore followed & Chapple was
promoted to Staff Paymaster on 11 Dec ’94.

His next appointment was on 10 Nov ’96 to HMS
Revenge, again as Secretary to Admiral John O.
Hopkins,  C in C of the Mediterranean Fleet.  
Chapple served in this appointment until 12 July ’
Above: A close up of some of Chapple's medals to show the clasps on the Egypt medal.
Shore appointments at HMS Wildfire (Base at Sheerness) followed until he was appointed to HMS Victory, on 3 Oct 1900 as Secretary to
Commander in Chief Portsmouth, Adm C.F. Hotham.  Chapple had been Adm Hotham’s  Secretary  when he commanded the Pacific Sqdn
so they each other & it is likely Hotham requested Chapple as his Secretary.  
Whilst Secretary to Admiral Hotham  Chapple was created a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) on Dec 24, 1901,  & served in
this important position until 31 Aug ’03.  

He was promoted to Fleet Paymaster on 1 Sep ’03 &   appointed to HM Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert  as  Secretary to Captain C. Keppel .
Whilst on the RY he was promoted to Paymaster in Chief on 28 Sep ’08.+
Chapple was to remain on the Royal Yacht thru King Edward’s reign & the opening of George V’s reign.  On Jun 19, 1911 Chapple was
honoured with being created a Companion of the Bath {CB, Military Division}.

He remained on the Victoria & Albert until the commencement of WWI when he & the entire crew of the V&A was appointed to the new
Battleship HMS Agincourt, on 4 Aug ’14.  Chapple remained on Agincourt until 1 Aug ’15 when he was appointed to HMS President.

After a short period of leave Chapple took up the appointment of  Paymaster for the North of Ireland Coastguard District on 18 Oct ’15.  
He was advanced to  Companionship of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) on 3 June ’16.

On 1 Jan ’18  Chapple was  honoured with the appointment of Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB, Civil Division), the citation reading:
“In recognition of services during the war”.

He was subsequently promoted to Paymaster Rear Admiral  on 6 Mar ’18, & returned to HMS President as the first Paymaster Director
General of the Admiralty.  He had reached the top of his branch & was the first Paymaster to be appointed to the new rank of Paymaster
Rear Admiral.   He was responsible for directing the transfer of the Paymaster branch from the Civil branch into the Military branch of the
Upper Left: Admiral Sir C.F.Hotham, CinC Portsmouth with his Staff, Chapple
on right

Above: Admiral Sir John Hopkins, CinC Med Fleet with his Flag Lieut &
Secretary Chapple

Lower Left: Group of Civil branch Officers on Royal Yacht, Ca 1908.Chapple is
on right & beside him is Eng Lieut Rundle

Below: Chapple (right) on Royal Yacht with Viscount Churchill & Eng Lieut
M.Rundle(centre). Circa 1908.
Chapple retired on 1 July ’18 in his 60th yr after completing over 42 years service with the RN.  His pension was initially 500 pounds per
annum, subsequently in Apl ’19  raised to 900 pounds p.a., but with the naval financial cutbacks in July 1924, his pension was reduced to

However, with his retirement from the RN Chapple’s service was not at an end.   Upon his retirement he was appointed King George’s
Secretary to the Privy Purse  & subsequently was appointed, on 15 Oct ’20, Assistant Treasurer to King George V & Secretary of the Privy
Purse. In May 1922 he was appointed Deputy Keeper of the Privy Purse, these being very important & trusted positions in the Royal service.  

Being closely involved in the financial affairs of King George V, Sir John Chapple had also been very fortunate in being appointed the
Keepership of the Royal Cottage at Virginia Water, situated deep in the woods near the south boundary of Windsor Great Park. ++

John Chapple was resident & keeper of the Royal Cottage until his death on Mar 5, 1925, in his 66th yr.  He died of Arteriosclerosis & Angina
Gross value of his estate was £4,674/13/4 a considerable amount for the time.
It is unknown when Edith Blanche died & where their place of burial is located.

*Captain John Chapple was a Staff Captain in the Navigating Branch of the RN. He retired in 1991.
**HMS Shah was only in service for three years, as the flagship of the British Pacific Station under Admiral de Horsey. She fought an action,
the Battle of Pacocha, in company with the corvette HMS Amethyst on 29 May 1877 with the Peruvian armoured turret ship Huáscar which
had been taken over by rebels opposed to the Peruvian Government, and, it was feared, could be used to attack British shipping.
The armoured Huascar proved virtually impenetrable to the British guns, but the Shah had to keep clear of the Huáscar’s turret guns. In the
course of the action  Shah fired the first Whitehead torpedo to be used in anger, although it missed – being outrun by Huascar. During her
time as flagship she also visited Pitcairn Island. On Shah’s voyage home she was diverted to South Africa to assist in the Anglo-Zulu War.

*** Their remains were brought back to Cairo & eventually returned to England for burial.

**** 9 years after the campaign but this was normal in the Victorian Navy where seniority was everything to a naval officer.

***** Their son, John Dyson, entered the RN & was appointed Midshipman on HMS Inflexible, 15 Jan 1914.
John Dyson subsequently saw action in the Gallipoli campaign, being MiD & awarded the DSC in Mar 1916.

+ The Civil branch rank of Paymaster in Chief was equivalent to an Executive branch Captain RN. At that time Chapple was at the top of the
Paymaster branch rank structure. There were only 12 Paymasters in Chief in the 1908 Navy List.

++ From the Daily Mirror of Mar 11 ’25: “ The King has at his disposal  a little known Court post, the keepership of the Royal Cottage at
Virginia Water. With the post goes a delightful residence close to the lake, & the Naval officer who gets it is to be heartily congratulated, for
an emolument is also attached.
The cottage is a picturesque gabled building by the water’s edge & was the venue of George IV’s sailing & fishing parties. Today the royal
cottage is used for tea when members of the Royal Family visit Virginia Water in the summer, & for luncheon at the King’s shooting parties.
At the table in the chief room most of the great ones have sat.”