Sir John Chapple attended Haileybury as a boy and he was a proud member of Kipling (as a child he had even been introduced to Rudyard Kipling). After Haileybury, Sir John undertook National Service before going up to Cambridge. In 1954, he joined the 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Simoor Rifles). It was a great source of pride to Sir John knowing that his old school possessed the painting of his regiment’s first major engagement at Kunja. In 1986, Sir John was made Colonel of his regiment. His distinguished military career culminated in him serving as Chief of General Staff (1988-92) and Governor of Gibraltar (1993-95). After stepping down as Chief of General Staff, he received a Field Marshal’s baton, the last Chief of General Staff to receive one.
Sir John was a knowledgeable Kipling scholar. He also had a great knowledge and understanding of Nepal, its people and flora and fauna. He was devoted to Haileybury and he visited the School often. In 2010, Sir John returned to campus as a Guest of Honour for Speech Day. The School’s flag flies at half-mast today as we mourn the passing of one of our most distinguished Old Haileyburians.