Record

CodeNA9131
Dates1894-
Person NameChalmers; Esther Barbara (1894-)
SurnameChalmers
ForenamesEsther Barbara
ActivityEsther Barbara Chalmers was born in Edinburgh in 1894, the youngest of the six children of Sir David and Lady Janet Alice Chalmers. Her father was the first Chief Justice of the Gold Coast from 1869 to 1878 and was then appointed Chief Justice of British Guiana, a post he held until 1893, when he retired from the colonial judicial service, although he continued to serve when called upon to do so, e.g., in Jamaica in 1894 and Newfoundland in 1897 and as a Royal Commissioner to enquire into a native uprising in Sierra Leone in 1898. Her mother’s side of the family was no less distinguished: Esther Chalmer’s maternal grandfather was James Lorimer, Professor of Public Law at the University of Edinburgh and two of her uncles were Sir R.S. Lorimer and J.H. Lorimer RSA.Esther Chalmers herself, after training as a laboratory technician and working in this capacity in England, assisted in relief work in France between 1918 and 1920. After her graduation from Edinburgh University in 1922, her help in founding a peace conference at Honfleur in Normandy led to her friendship with Lucie Dejardin from Liege in Belgium, the first woman to be elected to the Belgian Chambre des Representants. Apart from the war years, between 1940 and 1945, the next forty years of Esther Chalmers’ life were spent in Liege, where she was involved in various forms of voluntary and social work. Throughout this period she corresponded frequently with her two sisters, Hannah H. Campbell and Alison B. Volchaneski and with other members of her family. On her 'retirement' in the early 1960s, Esther Chalmers returned to Scotland, settling in Fife, where she researched and wrote her family’s history, drafted her autobiography and continued to correspond with family and friends.
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