Andrew Wardroper who died 6th May 1770
and his Wife Margaret Scott
also in Memory of
William Chalmers Merchant in Dundee
and his Wife Euphan Wardroper
daughter of Andrew Wardroper
and their son
William Chalmers of Glenericht
Town-Clerk of Dundee
who died 2nd August 1817 aged 75 years
and his Wife Margaret Mackenzie
Daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie Esquire
who died 16th November 1800
and also of their son
Lieutenant-General Sir William Chalmers C.B. K.C.H.
who died 2nd June 1860 aged 75 years
and his Wife Anne Page
who died 22d March 1851 aged 45 years
and of their children
William their eldest son who died at sea
on the 14th March 1848 aged 21 years
Anne Jane who died 5th October 1850 aged 16 years
Jessie Macpherson who died 7th February 1837
aged 22 months
Emily Isabella Disney, who died 10th March 1846
aged 9 years.
Source: Memorials of the Scottish families of Strachan and Wise
SIR WILLIAM CHALMERS was the son of Mr William Chalmers, Town Clerk of Dundee, and belonged to a family that had for several generations been connected with Dundee. The father filled the responsible situation of legal adviser to the town ; and Sir William, though a soldier from his youth, for a great many years, and up to the day of his death, held the civil appointment of Principal Clerk of the Peace for the county of Forfar, and Keeper of Sasines. These were offices of considerable emolument to the holder, the duties being all along performed by deputies. Sir William Chalmers was born in Dundee, at the head of Castle Street, on the east side, on the site now occupied by the British Hotel, in the year 1785. He received his education at the parish school, under Mr Wylie ; and it is said that, as a boy, he exhibited much of the bravery and daring which characterised his more mature years. He excelled all his companions in athletic exercises, and nearly every forenoon, for some years, is stated to have walked from ten to twenty miles ; and by this means he became very hardy and swift of foot. He joined the army in 1803, when in his 18th year—at the time when Napoleon Bonaparte was in the zenith of his glory. The Peace of Amiens was of short duration ; and the ambition of the young Corsican knew no bounds. His assumption of the imperial throne and coronation gave such a turn to affairs on the Continent as speedily led to the renewal of hostilities and the Spanish war. From 1808, when the Peninsular war commenced, down to 1815, when the French Emperor was finally crushed, Sir William was present and actively engaged in most of the hard fought contests under the Duke of Wellington. His military skill and daring spirit soon brought him under the special notice of the Duke, and, as a consequence, his promotion was rapid. He held the rank of aide-de-camp, and was often entrusted with the execution of duties of a hazardous nature, in all of which he came off with honour and credit. As an instance, it may be mentioned, that at one time, in Spain, the French army were encamped along
a valley in one line, and on the opposite side a range of mountains projected, which divided the right and left wings of the British army. The Duke of Wellington wanted a despatch carried from the one wing to the other. The necessity was imminent, but the execution was extremely hazardous. Chalmers undertook the duty. The distance over the mountains was fifteen miles ; but by going in front of the hills, and in face of the French army, the distance
was greatly lessened. Sir William chose the latter. When his perilous journey was about half accomplished, the solitary horseman was observed by the French sentinels, and two guns were fired in his direction, by which his horse was killed. Extricating himself as speedily as possible, he took to his heels, followed by some French horsemen. He kept running on, however, and had the good fortune to escape from his pursuers, and delivered his despatch in safety.
Sir William, as may be expected, had many hair-breadth escapes. In a letter to his father, after the battle of Barossa, he remarked that he had, during that sanguinary conflict, a ball in the pommel of his saddle, another in the tail of his coat, and a third in the front of his cocked hat—all which, he added, would ' tend to prove I never was born to be shot ; and if I do not get promotion for my services in this battle, I will leave the army in disgust, and come home and open a grocer's shop in the Bonnet Hill in Dundee.' Something more distinguished, however, was in store for him. Sir William was present at the memorable engagement at Waterloo. When the allied armies occupied Brussels, he was aide-decamp to his cousin, General M'Kenzie, commanding the garrison at Antwerp. Hearing the cannonading in the morning, he asked leave to join the army ; and this being given, he mounted his
horse, rode to the scene of the battle, and presented himself to the Duke. It so happened, that one of the regiments engaged in the fight had all its officers either killed or wounded in the early part of the day. To this regiment Sir William was appointed, and he gallantly shared in the toils and honours of the battle.
After the Peace in 1815, Sir William retired from the army, and resided in Dundee. About the year 1849, he received the honour of knighthood from her Majesty, in testimony of the efficient services he had rendered to the country in his youth. In Oct. 1853, upon the death of Lieut. -General Sir Neil Douglas, he was appointed Colonel of the 78th (Ross-shire) Highlanders ; and in June 1854 he attained the brevet rank of Lieut. -General. Though he generally resided in the winter and spring in his town residence in Dundee, he did not take any active part in public affairs. In 1832, he desired to enter Parliament, and stood as a candidate for Dundee in the Liberal interest ; but he had to retire from the contest— in consequence, it was understood, of the support he gave his old companion, Sir George Murray, who was contesting Perthshire on the Tory side. Sir William's fondness for walking continued
through life ; and up to within a short period preceding his decease, his tall, military-looking figure, with surtout closely buttoned, a worsted cravat put loosely round the neck, and an umbrella under the right arm, might be seen almost daily walking in stately order along the Perth Road. He died on Saturday, June 21, 1860, having reached the 75th year of his age.