Mike Chappell comes from an Aldershot family with British Army connections stretching back several generations. He enlisted as a teenage private in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in 1952. Over the next 22 years of infantry soldiering, many of them spent with the Gloucester Regiment, he held every rank and many regimental appointments up to WO1 and Regimental Sergeant Major. he retired in 1974, as RSM of the 1st Battalion The Wessex Regiment (Rifle Volunteers), after seeing service in Malaya, Cyprus, Swaziland, Libya, Germany, Ulster and home garrisons. He began painting military subjects in 1968 and since then has gained worldwide popularity as a military illustrator.