Patrick Reginald Chalmers 1872-1942

Patrick Reginald Chalmers was born in Torquay, Devon, in 1873 and grew up on his father’s country estate, Aldbar Castle, near Brechin, which the Chalmers Family had acquired in the 18th Century. The castle was destroyed by fire in 1964 and then demolished. Patrick was the eldest of seven children and was educated first at home by a governess and later at Rugby School. In the 1891 Census he is recorded as a scholar living with his mother and widowed grandmother in Kensington.

On leaving Rugby he went to work in the family merchant bank, Chalmers, Guthrie and Co., becoming managing director in 1901. In tandem with his banking duties he wrote poetry and contributed articles on various sports to periodicals and magazines such as Punch and The Field. His first volume of poetry, Green Days and Blue, which contains his best known poem Roundabout and Swings, was published in 1912, followed by A Peck o’ Maut in 1915. Two further volumes, Away to the Maypole and Pipes and Tabors followed.

He got married in 1917 and retired from the bank in 1922 to devote his time to writing and his outdoor hobbies, moving to Goring-on-Thames. He then mostly wrote prose works, particularly books on angling, horse racing and hunting but also a novel, The Golden Bee, and biographies of J M Barrie and Kenneth Grahame. He also edited King Edward VIII’s hunting diaries. His poetry, mostly written in a light, humorous vein, covers a wide range of subjects, some reflecting his love of outdoor pursuits and others such as Guns of Verdun of a more serious nature. He died in 1942.

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