Biography of Private Richard Christian (61814)
Durham Light Infantry
Died 22nd November 1918

Soldier

  • Name: Richard Christian
  • Date of birth: 1884
  • Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: October – December 1884
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

Father

  • Name: Robert Christian
  • DOB: 1850
  • Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Bricklayer

Mother

  • Name: Elizabeth Marshall
  • DOB: 1852
  • Place Of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 14th May 1874 Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Lucy Christian, 1874, Kirkby Underwood
  • Mary Ann Christian, 1876, Kirkby Underwood (Died 1877)
  • Sarah Christian, 1877, Kirkby Underwood
  • Arthur Christian, 1880, Kirkby Underwood
  • John Robert Christian, 1879 Kirkby Underwood (Died 1880)
  • Fred Christian, 1881, Kirkby Underwood
  • Lizzie Christian, 1883, Kirkby Underwood
  • Richard Christian, 1884, Kirkby Underwood
  • George Henry Christian, 1886, Kirkby Underwood (Died 1888)
  • Walter Christian, 1887, Kirkby Underwood (Died 1888)
  • Ernest Christian, 1889, Kirkby Underwood
  • Charles Christian, 1891, Kirkby Underwood
  • Ethel Ann Christian, 1893, Kirkby Underwood
  • Harold Christian, 1895, Kirkby Underwood

Census

  • 1891: Richard is living with his parents in Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire
  • 1901: Richard is living in Swinstead with Rudkin Family as a Boarder. The census gives him an age of 16 and he is listed as an agricultural horseman on farm.
  • 1911: Richard is living with his mother in Kirkby Underwood., Lincolnshire

Relatives in services

Wife

  • Name: Kate Maples
  • Date of birth: 1889
  • Place of Birth: Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England

Marriage

  • Date of Marriage: 1913
  • Place of Marriage: Bourne District

Children, (Name), (DOB), (POB):

  • Richard Edward Maples, 1912, Billingborough
  • Harold Christian, 1914, Billingborough
  • Ida Mary Christian, 1915, Billingborough
  • Phyllis M Christian, 1917 Pointon
  • Kate Christian, 1918 Bourne District

Wife’s parents

  • Father: Edward Maples
  • Mother: Elizabeth Francis

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday November 22 1919
    IN MEMORIAM
    CHRISTIAN – In memory of Richard Christian, who died November 22nd, 1918, at Billingborough.
    I Can see you now, dear dad,
    As When you clasped your hands to pray;
    Convinced I am that God did hear-
    So peacefully you passed away.

 

  • CHRISTIAN – In memory of Kate Christian (nee Maples), beloved wife of Richard Christian, who died November 22nd, 1918, at Billingborough; also of Kate, infant daughter of above, born Nov. 19th, 1918, died Nov. 29th, 1918.
    I never forget you, nor do I intend;
    I think of you daily, and will to the end;
    I mourn in silence and sorrow inseen,
    And dwell in the memory of days that have been.
    Fondly remembered by Harry Richardson
    (‘The Hill,” Billingborough).

 

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 30th October 1920
    Kirkby Underwood
    War Memorial Unveiled and Dedicated – Sunday last will live in the memory of all the parishioners and many interested in this little village. The Church services commenced with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 8 a.m., followed by matins and sermon at 11 a.m. The special service was at three o’clock and every seat in the church was occupied. Prayers suitable for the occasion were offered by the rector, Rev J.S. Barstow, the special lesson being read by Mr. Wm. Dyson of Bulby Hall, who proceeded after the singing of the hymn, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” to unveil the beautiful stained glass window, which during the week had been fixed in the east end of the Church. It was then solemnly dedicated by the Rev. Canon Layng – To the Glory of God, and in grateful memory of Bertie Evelyn Rudkin, Ernest Henry Rudkin, Richard Christian and John Thomas Wyer, and as a thankoffering for peace and victory. Mr. Dyson standing on the chancel steps then spoke a few words, which appealed to his hearers. Referring to the long connection of his family with the Church and district, and to the happy days spent in the neighbourhood, he expressed the regret felt by all of them at the coming severance, but trusted that the Church would continue to progress, and believed that the rector, who had served in the late war, was particularly fitted to help and sympathise with his people I their joys and sorrow . The window he regarded as the most beautiful war memorial and he was highly pleased with it. A few well-chosen, comforting words were addressed to the parents and relatives of the fallen, reference being made to the powers given to the laity by the Enabling Bill, and all were urged to work for the Church, rather than for this or that particular incumbent; and lastly referring to the present industrial unrest, he expressed his confidence that the good sense and judgment of the people would prevail and all classes work together for the general good. The Hymn, “For All The Saints” was feelingly sung, and the memorable service concluded by the “Last Post” sounded by Sergt. Pattinson of Bourne. In the evening, a memorial service was held in the honour of the fallen. The Rector took as his text the words inscribed on the window, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He clearly explained the idea underlying the window, and connecting the various figures on it, and its special appropriateness to the Church and as a memorial.. A Glowing tribute was paid to the courage and unselfishness of those who had given their lives that we may live, and for King and Country, and words of sympathy and hope addressed particularly to the mourners present, as one who was a mourner himself a mourner. The Late Rector, the Rev. W.H. Langworthy (The present rector of Claypole) organized the idea of the window as a war memorial, and worked hard for its accomplishment, but was unable to be present at the dedication.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • Available for 1902 for the Lincolnshire Regiment

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • None found

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • Elizabeth Christian for son Fred and daughter Phyllis
  • Sister Mrs Lizzie Ingall

 

Medals

  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal

Memorials

  • UK:
  • Kirkby Underwood, plaque in St Mary and All Saints Church
  • Kirkby Underwood, Names on the stained glass window in St Mary and All Saints Church

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In Memory of Private R Christian, 61814, Durham Light Infantry who died on 22 November 1918 Age 34
  • Son of Elizabeth Christian, of Kirkby Underwood, Lincs and the late Robert Christian; husband of the late Kate Christian
  • AND KATE HIS WIFE WHO ALSO DIED 22ND NOV. 1918. AGE 33 THY WILL BE DONE
  • Remembered with Honour, Billingborough (St Andrews) Churchyard

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline:

  • Richard attested to the militia of the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment on the 22nd May 1902 and was living in Billingborough.
  • Richard drilled with the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire regiment until April 1908 when he was discharged when the Territorial and Reserve Forces act disbanded the volunteer and militia units and placed the men on regular army reserve.
  • Richard joined the Durham Light Infantry (61814) during the war although the date is not known.
    He was later transferred to the 409th Company of the labour Corps with a change of regimental number to 19310. The 409th company was known as the Kesteven and Lindsay company which was based at Lincoln. The labour Corps traditionally took men who were wounded and then classed as less than A1 fitness and this would indicate that Richard was either wounded or, at the age of 34 not fit for front line service.
  • Men of the labour corps were traditionally commemorated by the CWGC under their original regiment and number.
  • Richard died in England on the 22nd November 1918, 11 days after the end of the war. Rather than an act of war Richard was the victim of a family tragedy. On the 19th November Richard and Kate became parents for the 4th time when baby Kate was born. Only 3 days later both Richard and his wife Kate died within hours of each other of acute influenza (Spanish Flu being rife at the time) and baby Kate eventually died on the 29th

Sources

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
  • British Newspaper Archive.
  • Fold 3
  • Find My Past
  • Genealogist
  • Forces War Records
  • British Army Service Numbers
  • War Gratuity Calculator
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
  • General Registry Office

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