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Chambers, Leslie Arthur (1847–1922)

L. Arthur Chambers, n.d.

L. Arthur Chambers, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 May 1922

In February last there passed away in Devonshire, England, one of our real old-time squatters, Leslie Arthur Chambers, always known as Arthur Chambers.

His father, David Chambers, came out to Australia in 1831, and was the second Crown Solicitor of Australia, and also Under Sheriff. He sent his sons, Frank and Arthur, home to England to be educated. Frank came back to Australia first and started on Pevensey Station, on the Murrumbidgee, near Hay, N.S.W. Arthur followed in 1864 and joined his brother at Pevensey as junior partner.

In 1873 he went home to England and married Laura Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Davis Rose, another Australian pioneer, and owner of Rosebrook Station, in Victoria. In 1875, in partnership with Edmond Splatt and E. W. Severne, he bought Carwell Station, some 40 miles west of Coonamble, N.S.W., and subsequently the partners came in for one of the most disastrous of all our great droughts, viz., 1876-1877. The losses in these years all over New South Wales were appalling, Brookong, for instance, losing 130,000 sheep, and Haddon Rig, not far from Carwell, over 100,000.

Not having lost heart, in 1879 the partners purchased two more blocks of country adjoining Carwell and a number of fine sheep, but the drought did not finally break till the middle of 1885.

During this drought the partners bought two stations, Mollie, near Narrabri, and Geurie, near Wellington. Their losses and expenses were heavy, and in 1886 their bank declined to carry them on, and Chambers and Splatt had to hand over everything to Severne, who was a man of means.

Chambers then went to manage Euroka for Dalgety and Co. and in 1893 undertook the management of Amby Downs Station, in Queensland, for the Queensland Pastoral Company, where he remained till 1898, when he became pastoral inspector for the Agency, Land and Finance Co. of Melbourne, which position he retained till that company sold out their properties in 1910, when Chambers purchased their Lower Lila property on the Darling, and this property is now held by his son, Major P. A. Chambers, who was invalided to Australia from Gallipoli, and afterwards severely wounded in the terrible Gaza debacle in Palestine, while serving with the 12th Light Horse.

Arthur Chambers was a man of indomitable energy and courage, and there was simply no end to his endurance. Of slight physique, no weight on a horse, he performed some wonderful journeys on horseback. A man of the strictest honour he was generous to a degree, indeed quixotically so. His friends were legion, and no man could have been more beloved. His death leaves an irreparable void in the lives of many Australians.

Original publication

Citation details

'Chambers, Leslie Arthur (1847–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/chambers-leslie-arthur-208/text209, accessed 24 April 2021.

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