Obituary: Basil Chapman
Tuesday 26 August 2008
Basil Chapman, former assistant world services editor in London, has died at the age of 90. A notice in The Daily Telegraph said he died on 20 August.
Chapman moved to Francueil in the Indre-et-Loire near Tours, France on his retirement in 1983 after 30 years with Reuters. Five years later he returned to the office to research and write a series of monographs on famous people and events in Reuters’ history. They were published in the staff magazine Reuters World throughout 1988 and later re-printed on art paper, framed and hung in Reuters’ offices around the world.
Allan Barker, a colleague of Chapman’s, writes: “Basil was a great journalist who excelled in his later years in the 1960s and 70s as a desk editor and fireman sent into the French-speaking areas in times of crisis. He was a bit older than most of his World Desk contemporaries, and was much respected for his all-round knowledge and ability.
“He never panicked under pressure, especially when he was appraising stories prior to filing them to the world, and as Chief Sub he often wrote smooth wrapups and leadalls with proper balance and readability. His knowledge of France and the French was always a great bonus for him and the Desk in those days.
“And he was a man of letters, too, as he showed soon after retirement when he wrote an engaging portrait of Ian Fleming for the Reuters monthly review.”
The funeral is on 2 September at 2:30 pm at Kingsbury Methodist Church, Warwickshire. ■