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Candler, James Hardie (1920-1954) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Candler, James Hardie (1920-1954)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who have lost their lives in the service of their country, 1919-1939 and 1946 to date.


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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.


Details: James Hardie Candler (1920-1954), born 3 June 1920, son of Dr A.L. Candler FRCS, Barnfield Road, Exeter, Devon. Twin brother of Thomas Oswald Candler (1920-), and brother of Peter Laurence Candler (1914-1991) (England XV, 1936).


Attended Norwood School, Exeter, Devon.


Attended Sherborne School (Abbey House), May 1934-July 1938; 6th form; School Prefect; 1st XV 1937; Captain of Football 1938; PT Instructor with badge; Trebles 1936-1937; Captain of Swimming 1938; 1st Class Gym; Gym Squad 1937; member of Duffers; CSM in OTC.


Attended Clare College, Cambridge; University XV (1940).


WW1, Captain, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (wounded); King’s African Rifles.

Colonial Administrative Service; District Commissioner Marasabit, Kenya, 1947.



Killed in Kenya on 5 March 1954.


Commemorated at:

Sherborne School Book of Remembrance.


The Shirburnian, Summer 1954:

JAMES HARDIE CANDLER. James Candler was one of three brothers who were at Sherborne – the eldest, Peter and James’s twin brother, Thomas. He came with the latter in the Summer Term of 1934 to Abbey House and when he left in 1938 he was in the VIth, a Prefect and in the XI [sic].

A contemporary writes of those days: “He will be remembered with affection by many of his contemporaries at Sherborne. To the small boy in Abbey House in appeared during his last two years almost larger than life; he was a good forward (House captain in a year when it won the Three Cock, and later a war-time “Blue” at Cambridge) a surprisingly diligent historian, a powerful bass in the choir, and a prefect whose enthusiasms we attempted to share but with little hope that we could emulate his achievements. He was always cheerful, self-confident, sometimes noisy (notably when practising the Shout, Ethiopia Salutes the Colours, in the shower-rooms) tough, perhaps, but also generous-hearted, strict but fair. After a lapse of years, during which we heard little of his activities, for he had a hard but unspectacular war, the news of his death still awoke many grateful memories; for his was a character not easily nor willingly forgotten.”

On leaving school he went to Clare College, Cambridge and he played for the University XV in 1940. During the war he served as a Captain in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and was wounded. He was captured in North Africa and imprisoned in Italy; he escaped and spent nearly a year operating with partisans until he reached our lines in safety. After service in the East African Command he joined the Colonial Administration. When the present Emergency came Candler’s boundless energy and absolute fearlessness made it inevitable that he should be chosen to take over the most difficult division in the Central Province. There he showed himself a strong administrator who knew what was right and did it. He was a great champion of the loyal Kikuyu and that they appreciated him has been shown in many ways, among them their presence in large numbers at his funeral in Nairobi when the Bishop addressed them in their own language.

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Uploaded on June 14, 2016