Tom Chessell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tom Chessell
Born (1914-04-01)1 April 1914
Ashfield, New South Wales
Died 9 May 1992(1992-05-09) (aged 78)
Chevron Island, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Education Newington College
Sydney Technical College
Occupation Building Inspector
Spouse(s) Betty
Children 2 sons
Olympic medal record
Men's Rowing
Representing  Australia
Bronze medal – third place 1952 Helsinki Men's Eight

Thomas Edmund Malcolm Chessell (1 April 1914 – 9 May 1992) was an Australian Olympic-level rower.

Birth and education[edit]

Tom Chessell was born in Ashfield, New South Wales, and attended Newington College (1929–1931)[1] where he started rowing. As a cox he represented Newington at the Head of the River in the 2nd IV in 1930 and the 1st VIII in the following year.[2]

Building career[edit]

Forced by the Great Depression to leave school, Chessell worked for his family's building company and studied building at Sydney Technical College. He worked in the building industry all his life and was Chief Building Inspector for Ku-ring-gai Council on his retirement in 1975.[3]

War service[edit]

At the outbreak of World War II, Chessell joined the RAAF as a carpenter/rigger serving in the Middle East for two and a half years and was mentioned in despatches. He returned to Australia to complete officer training and attained the rank of Pilot Officer.[4] In 1945, shortly before war's end, he married.

Rowing career[edit]

Chessell (seated 2nd from right) in the 1952 Olympic Rowing Squad

After leaving school, Chessell joined Sydney Rowing Club.[5] In 1952 he won the bronze medal as coxswain of the Australian boat in the eights event at the Helsinki Olympics.[6]


Having retired to Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Chessell died on Chevron Island, survived by his wife and two sons, Ian and Bruce. He was cremated and his ashes were spread on the Parramatta River by the 1952 Olympic VIII with Ian Chessell as cox.[7]


  1. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp33
  2. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) Part 2 - The Lists
  3. ^ The Newingtonian 1992 Thomas Edmund Malcolm Chessell pp 219
  4. ^ Honours and Awards — Thomas Edmund Chessell
  5. ^ Sydney Rowing Club
  6. ^ Olympic Rowing Profile
  7. ^ The Newingtonian 1992 Thomas Edmund Malcolm Chessell pp 219