'Pop' Chapman was quite a character


Sir – I live in England on the Isle of Wight, which is in the south, facing Southampton.
I am looking into my family history and found that my grandmother’s sister, Gertrude Emily Ford, who was born in Devon, England, was married to Charles Henry “Pop” Chapman and they had two daughters, Fay and Rose.
They would be my mother’s cousins.  It seems that Charles was quite a character and I’d like to know more about him but I can’t find out much more than is in Wikipedia.  Also I’d love to hear from any relatives of Gertrude Ford / Chapman.
If you can help in any way you can contact me on my email – annofwight@hotmail.co.uk
Many thanks
Ann Smith (Mrs)
50 Lincoln Way, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, England, PO35 5RR.


  1. ‘Pop’ Chapman is mentioned in Peter Donovan’s book “Alice Springs, its history and the people who made it”. He was involved in the rush to The Granites goldfield in the early thirties (a fair bit of info about this in F. E. Baume’s book “Tragedy Track, the story of The Granites”).
    After the war he started the Centralian Advocate newspaper, and in the early fifties he opened a swimming pool, Alice’s first, in Railway Terrace (about where Coles is now?) and let the public swim in it.
    I’m sure I’ve seen pics of kids enjoying this in the “Growing up in Alice” Facebook page, so there would be people in town still who would remember Pop and his pool.
    I’m sure Josie Petrick, Alex Nelson and Dick Kimber will know more. Erwin too I reckon?
    [Thanks Ian. I think I swam in this pool when I first lobbed in 1974. It was a public pool then. It was in Railway Terrace, more likely where K-Mart is now, not Coles. All the best, Erwin.]

  2. Hi Ann,
    I too have been looking into my family tree and discovered that “Pop” Chapman is my 2nd great uncle.
    All the information I have on him was either obtained from the book, Charles Henry Chapman: visionary and legend to Central Australia or on Trove.

  3. My name is Jessica Chapman and I am Charles “Pop” Chapman’s great, great granddaughter. My grandfather is his son, Gordon Chapman, and I am named after his wife.
    If anyone has any more information regarding my great, great grandfather or about the restoration (?) of The Pearly Gates I would love to hear from you. Email: jess_chapman@hotmail.com.au
    Thanks, Jessica Chapman

  4. My name is Susan Dunwoody (nee Chapman). Charles Henry Chapman was my grandfather. His son, my father, is Gordon Chapman. He has just had his 95th birthday lives in Toowoomba with his wife Linda Joan Chapman.
    My father, like his father, is still quite active mentally and physically for his age. I am in the process of getting more information and book that was written about Charles Henry Chapman from the Canberra library.

  5. Three years ago I contacted your newspaper asking for any information about “Pop” Chapman who was married to my grandmother’s sister.
    I received several replies and to cut a long story short, I kept in touch online with some of them and I have just had my cousin travel all the way from Paynesville Victoria to the Isle of Wight in the UK to stay with me for a few days!
    We had a great time catching up on news of the families neither of us knew we had, and discovered we both shared the same great grandparents!
    So, “thank you very much Alice Springs News!”
    I’m so grateful to you!

  6. Pop Chapman is my great grandfather. My dad is Alan Chapman and his father is Charles Henry Chapman. I was born in Alice Springs, I’m also wanting to know more about my family and my heritage.

  7. I don’t have much to add about Charles Henry “Pop” Chapman.
    But do have some information about his heritage.
    Go to the profile for Charles Henry “Pop” Chapman on Wikitree. At the moment, it is incomplete.


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