Former police officer writes book about the many John Chapmans and their roles in major historic events

John Chapman.

John Chapman. - Credit: Archant

A former police officer has written a book celebrating the people who have shaped history who share his name.

John Chapman, who served as a police officer in March and Wisbech in the 1970s and 1980s, has written Everyone Knows John Chapman.

He also worked for a housing association in both towns counselling young people and played in a local band called The Rusty Relics.

The 68 year old grandfather, who now lives in Cornwall, says he was “amazed” at how often John Chapman’s popped up in major historic events.

He said: “The book follows the lives of numerous true life John Chapmans who are documented as the central characters in so many historic events.

“From my research I found there are thousands of John Chapmans alone in this country and a huge number more in the USA.

“The love story from Titanic, Jack the Ripper, Lawrence of Arabia, Butch Cassidy and many more would be totally different without a true life John Chapman.”

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Annie Chapman, the second victim of Jack the Ripper, was married to a John Chapman.

Together they lived a happily until the death of their first child turned them to drink.

John Chapman died in 1886 and his wife Annie was forced into prostitution in Whitechapel where, two years later, she was murdered.

John Chapman said: “It may be a small book but it is packed full of interesting information. Whether your name is John Chapman or not, the thread of this book will hold you.”

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