Biography

Birth date: 12 September 1876
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Wellington
Death date: 1950
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Petersham
Final rank: Major
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Units:
  • 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment

Philip Arthur Chambers was born in Wellington, New South Wales, on 12 September 1876. He was educated at Kelly College in Devon, England, and then attended St Edward's School at Oxford. On leaving school Chambers returned to Australia and enlisted with the Australian Light Horse of the Citizens' Forces. He qualified for an appointment as a second lieutenant in 1908 and married his wife, Ethel, in 1911. The 38-year-old grazier enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 12 May 1915 and departed Sydney with the 12th Light Horse Regiment aboard HMAT Vestalia on 22 June 1915.

Chambers was deployed to Gallipoli in August and was evacuated to Egypt a couple of months later due to a severe case of paratyphoid. Invalided due to this disease, he was sent back to Australia in January 1916, but returned to Egypt in August 1916 and was made temporary commanding officer of the 12th Light Horse Regiment. His diaries from this time provide an officer's observations of the regiment as well as noting various troop movements, sporting matches, courts martial, and training undertaken.

In April 1917, Chambers sustained shrapnel wounds to both his right shoulder and his left hip. During July he distinguished himself as a leader of his unit and on December 1917 was Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Edmund Allenby. Chambers continued to serve with the 12th Light Horse Regiment for the remainder of the war, noting in his diaries such battles as the second battle of Gaza in 1917, the raid on Es Salt in 1918, and the battle of Samakh in 1918. After having briefly been made commanding officer again in March 1919, Chambers returned to Australia and was officially discharged from the AIF on 20 October 1919. Philip Arthur Chambers died at Petersham, New South Wales, in 1950.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Major
  • Date of embarkation: 08 July 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Major
  • Date of embarkation: 22 June 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of the Nile

  • Unit: 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Brevet Major

  • Unit: 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mentions

  • Unit: 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Private Record

Chambers, Philip Arthur (Major, b.1876 - d.?)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Major Philip Arthur Chambers, 12 Light Horse Regiment, Egypt and Palestine, 1917-1919. Collection consists of two diaries written by Chambers while with the 12 Light Horse Regiment. They contain brief diary entries covering the range of... Maker: Chambers, Philip Arthur

1DRL/0196 (With records)

Photograph

P01208.023

Group portrait of officers of 12th Light Horse Regiment. Back row, from left to right: Captain (Capt) Thomas Mullins, Chaplain 4th Class, from Ireland ( later MC, MID); Lieutenant (Lt) John Herbert Huxley from Crookwell, NSW; Lt John William Hampton from Summer Hill, NSW (later Capt, MC); Capt...

P01208.023

Digitised Collection

Diary of Philip Arthur Chambers, 1917-1918

Diary relating to the First World War service of Major Philip Arthur Chambers, 12th Light Horse Regiment. In this diary, kept between 12 January 1917 and 31 December 1918, Chambers provides an officer's observations and account of 12th Light Horse Regiment of which he was a commanding officer....

RCDIG0000910

Diary of Philip Arthur Chambers, 1919

Diary relating to the First World War service of Major Philip Arthur Chambers 12th Light Horse Regiment. In this diary, kept between 1 January 1919 and 31 December 1919, Chambers details the movements of the unit, as well as noting various sporting matches, court martials and training undertaken....

RCDIG0000911

Timeline

Date of birth 1876-09-12
Date of embarkation 1915-06-22
Date of embarkation 1916-07-08
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-11
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-10-05
Other 1919-04-01 - 1919-05-28 Commanding Officer of the 12thLight Horse Regiment.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1919-06
Date returned to Australia 1919-07-17
Date of death 1950