Chapman, Charles (Charlie) (1904 - 1989)
Born 5 October 1904 in Upper Preston, WA; died 4 April 1989 in Perth.
Son of Alfred CHAPMAN and Mary Ann GIBBS.
His father died following an accident when he was only months old, and his mother died from tuberculosis when he was five.
Following the deaths of his parents he was cared for by his uncle and aunt George CHAPMAN and Sarah J. CHAPMAN nee GIBBS.
His uncle and aunt were strict Seventh Day Adventists, and during his time with them he was educated in Carmel.
At the age of 13 he left school and initially worked as a land clearer before studying Medicine in Sydney, New South Wales. He left Sydney to commence farming in Winchester, WA.
On 30 January 1925 he purchased in partnership with his brother Walter 838 acres of farm land in Winchester.
On 22 April 1929 himself and his brother purchased a further 1,174 acres in Winchester.
His brother became the sole owner of Lot M1086 on 5 May 1930, and Charles became the sole owner of Lot M1213 on 28 July 1932.
He farmed 'Elouera Farm' in Winchester from 1930 until the 1980s.
During the Second World War he was a member of the No. 2 Troop of the "C" Squadron of the motorised 25th Light Horse Machine Gun Regiment, a local militia unit made of people from the North Midlands and trained in Carnamah once a fortnight. He later served with the 25th Light Horse at Canning Weir where he was Lance Corporal.
He employed a few Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War and kept in touch with them when they returned to Italy.
He served on the Carnamah Shire Council 1961-1963 and was Shire President 1961-1963.
By 1962 had been made a Justice of the Peace for the Victoria Magisterial District of Western Australia.
He was widely known for his interest and knowledge of native flora and local flowers and had several visits from botanists.
Once or twice a year he held slide evenings at the Winchester Hall at which he showed photos of plants and flowers.
He retired to Perth during the 1980s and resided with his wife at a house in the Perth suburb of Graylands. He died there on 4 April 1989.
Botanist Mike Crisp recalls:
"I first became aware of Charles' discoveries early in my taxonomic
work on Daviesia (mid 1970s), when I found several of his specimens in the Western Australian Herbarium representing undescribed species from the northern sandplains of WA (Eneabba-
Carnamah-Coorow area). There was little information on the labels except terse locality details, so I made contact and arranged
to meet him on my next field trip to WA.
found him to be a most helpful, enthusiastic and generous person.
By then he was in his mid-70s, yet he was full of energy and
dropped everything (he was still running a farm) and took us out
to the localities of the species in question.
Field trips with Charles were a bit hair-raising - he routinely drove at 100 kph on the unsealed roads of his district. But
then, he had served for long periods on the Carnamah District
Road Board, including a stint as Chairman, so I guess he had
made sure that the roads were in good condition.
I think that Charles
had some influence in the declaration of Tathra National Park. I recall
him telling me that be also bought up blocks of uncleared land
near his farm to conserve some of the kwongan heathland. When
he sold his farm Elouera after retirement (in his 80s!), he retained
his "sandplain" block, though he and his wife moved to Perth.
very active in his local community in various roles but his interest
in and knowledge of the flora were acknowledged when the Carnamah Shire asked him to nominate a wildflower as an emblem
for the shire. He chose Calytrix superba. He also inspired and mentored other local wildflower enthusiasts, such as Alison Doley,
whose collections can also be found in the WA herbarium.
I was by no means the only botanist who was assisted by Charles. In
FloraBase (the online database of the WA Herbarium), I found
seven species of plants named after him, including Daviesia chapmanii."
Plant species named after Charles Chapman:
Acacia chapmanii R.S.Cowan & Maslin, Nuytsia 12(3):455-456
Darwinia chapmaniana Keighery, Nuytsia 19:38-40, Fig. 1 (2009)
Daviesia chapmanii Crisp, Austral. Syst. Bot. 8:1181, Fig. 9 (1995)
Hensmania chapmanii Keighery Chapman’s Hensmania;
Fl.Australia 45:486 (1987)
Homalocalyx chapmanii Craven; Brunonia 10:147-148 (1987)
Persoonia chapmaniana P.H.Weston, Telopea 6:117-119 (1994)
Scholtzia chapmanii Trudgen ms, which is more correctly known
as Scholtzia sp. Winchester (C. Chapman s.n. PERTH 05625386);
although not formally published, the phrase name and locality
clearly refer to Charles Chapman.
Source: Extracted from: https://www.carnamah.com.au/bio/charles-chapman;
Crisp, M.D. (2016) 'Charles Chapman (1904–1989)
an unsung enthusiast, conservationist and collector of rare
plants from a Western Australian hotspot of floristic diversity'
Banksia 12 (March 2016) PDF (6mb)
( https://www.sasb.org.au/banksia-newsletter )
Portrait Photo: https://www.carnamah.com.au/bio/charles-chapman.
Collecting localities for 'Chapman, C.' from AVH (2021)
Data from 712 specimens
Australian National Herbarium - updated
8 November 2021
by webmaster (firstname.lastname@example.org)