George Chapman was born on 11th August 1846 in The Hundred, Romsey, Hampshire, the seventh child of twelve born to John Chapman, a boot and shoe maker, and his wife Elizabeth, formerly East. He was baptized on 19th February 1847 in Romsey. As a child he lived in Industry Row, an area off Mill Lane in Romsey. On 17th February 1865 George joined the Army, becoming a private in the King's Royal Rifle Corps (later the Royal Green Jackets) based at the Rifle Depot in Winchester. He is described in his army records as being "5' 4 3/4" tall, of dark complexion, with black eyes, and dark brown hair. He served 2 years 1 month in Canada before returning to Winchester. In 1868 George suddenly developed Epilepsy and was recommended for discharge in 1869 on the grounds that he was no longer fit for service. His condition was describes as;
"disease, not injury, progressive - will seriously interfere with his earning a livlihood, probably due to a ____ affection of the head in childhood, not aggravated by indulgence or other vice"
He does not appear however, to have been discharged at that time as he was still in the same regiment in 1871. George married Harriet Collins in St Peter's Church, West Tytherley, Hampshire, on 25th December 1875, by which time he had left the army and his occupation is recorded as a "labourer" the witnesses to the marriage were Albert Pragnell and Ellen Pragnell.
Harriet Collins was born on 24th December 1846 in Frenchmoor, West Tytherley, the daughter of George Collins and Rachel Waterman. George and Harriet had three children, George William, b. 1880, Frances Mary, b. 1882 and John (Jack) b. 1893. They also raised Harriet's niece, Julia, the illegitimate and orphaned daughter of her younger sister Eliza. George continued to work as a bricklayer's or general labourer at least until 1901, by this time he had become the caretaker of the Liberal Club House in Bell Street where he lived. He later became a county court bailiff. Harriet died in 1918 in Romsey and George died on 28th March 1924, aged 77, at 3 Latimer Street, Romsey, cause of death - carcinoma of the stomach, the informant was his son George, who was present at the death.