Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Chamier, Stephen Henry Edward

CHAMIER, STEPHEN HENRY EDWARD (1834–1910), lieutenant-general, royal (Madras) artillery, born in Madras on 17 Aug. 1834, of Huguenot descent [see Chamier, Anthony], was fifth son of Henry Chamier, chief secretary to the Madras government and afterwards member of council, 1843-8, by his wife Marie Antoinette Evelina, daughter of Thomas Thursby, H.E.I.C.S. His grandfather, Jean Ezechiel Deschamps Chamier, was also member of the Madras council. Captain Frederick Chamier [q. v.] was an uncle. Educated at Cheltenham College and Addiscombe, Chamier was appointed on 11 June 1853 second lieutenant in the Madras artillery, and joined artillery headquarters at St. Thomas Mount, on 8 Oct. 1853. Posted to the first battery in March 1854, he proceeded to Burin ah in July 1854. After commanding an outpost of artillery at Sittang on 3 Aug. 1854, he was appointed station staff officer there on 16 Nov. 1854. On 11 April 1856 he proceeded on field service to Kareen Hills in command of a mountain train of howitzers and rockets, and was engaged with hill Kareens on 22 April. For driving the enemy from their position on the Zoungzalcn river and dispersing them, Chamier received the thanks of the government of India. After commanding B battery horse artillery for a few months at Bangalore, he proceeded in May 1857 to Madras en route for Burmah, but the news of the Sepoy mutiny at Meerut led to a change of plans, and he went with Major Cotter's horse battery to Calcutta and thence to Benares and Allahabad. Detached to Gopigunge with two guns and some infantry, he disarmed a part of the Bengal native infantry. Proceeding to Mirzapur and on towards Rewa, he held the Kattra Pass, where he was joined by a Madras regiment and C battery Madras artillery, and received the command of a battery. Ordered to Cawnpore to aid General Windham's operations against the Gwalior contingent, the force was continuously engaged for three days, with heavy loss; out of thirty-six men with Charmer's guns seventeen were killed or wounded. For his splendid handling of his guns Chamier was complimented by General Dupuis Pie on the field, and thanked in public despatches. Chamier also took part on 8 Dec. 1857 in the utter rout of the Gwalior contingent mutineers by Sir Colin Campbell [q. v.] in the vicinity of Cawnpore. At his own request he, in February 1858, rejoined Major Cotter's horse battery and marched with General Franks from Benares through Oude to Lucknow, engaging on the way in the actions of Chanda, Ameerapur, Sultanpur, and the different skirmishes. At Lucknow Chamier joined the fifth division of the army under Lord Clyde, and took part in the operations before and during the siege and capture of the city. After its fall Chamier's battery joined the force which went under Major-General Lugard to the relief of Azimgurh, being engaged against Koer Singh's rebel force and against other rebels near Jagdispur and Arrah. In June 1858 the campaign, during which, according to artillery orders, Chamier was engaged in nineteen actions, came to a close (Land. Gaz. 25 May and 29 June 1858).

In Sept. 1858 Lord Canning, the governor-general, appointed Chamier, in consideration of his recent service, to be commandant of the first battery artillery, Hyderabad contingent. He was promoted to second captain on 29 Feb. 1864 and received a brevet-majority on 11 Oct. 1864 for his actions in the field, together with the medal for the Indian Mutiny campaign and the clasp for Lucknow. After commanding a battery of horse artillery at home from 1872 to 1876, he was, on promotion to regimental lieutenant-colonel, put in command of two batteries at Barrackpur. From 1877 to 1881 he was deputy inspector-general and from 1881 to 1886 inspector-general of ordnance, Madras. During his tenure of these posts expeditions were sent to Malta, Afghanistan, and Upper Burmah, and he received the thanks of the Madras government, which were endorsed by the viceroy. He retired in October 1886 with the rank of lieutenant-general, being made C.B. for his services during the Indian Mutiny and receiving the reward for distinguished service. All under whom he served, including Sir James Outram [q. v.], Sir Harry Lumsden [q. v. Suppl. I], and Sir Thomas Harte Franks [q. v.], eulogised his soldierly qualities.

Chamier was a good musician and played the violincello. He graduated Mus. Bac. of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1874. He died after a long illness at his residence, Brooke House, Camberley, on 9 June 1910. On 4 Sept. 1858 he married, at Dinapore, Dora Louisa, daughter of George Tyrrell, Esq., M.D., county Down, and by her had six daughters and three sons. His widow survived him with two daughters and one son, George Daniel, C.M.G., lieutenant-colonel of the royal artillery.

[The Times, 11 June 1910; Army Lists; private records and correspondence; G. B. Malleson, Hist. of Indian Mutiny, 1880, ii. 244 seq.; G. W. Forrest, Indian Mutiny, 1904, vol. ii.]

H. M. V.