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Jan 13

Christie West Fletcher (boarder)

Christie was the seventh of nine children of Charles and Lucy Fletcher. He was born in Kew, London, on 12thDecember 1874 and baptised on 9thMarch 1876. His father was a member of the London Stock Exchange.  He entered LWGS in September 1891 as a sixth former and would have stayed two years at the most. Afterwards travelled to India where he became an indigo planter for the Dholi Concern, living at Mozufferpore, Tirhoot. Whilst therehe enlisted with the Bihar Light Horse, a volunteer cavalry regiment, based in northern India.

In the autumn of 1899, the regiment volunteered half a squadron, numbering 54 officers and men, to join Lumsdens Horse the name given to the India Mounted Infantry Corps. Christie was part of the squadron in A Company No 2 Section. They left Calcutta in February 1900 to take part in the Second Boer War, and took part in several actions against the Boers. The B.L.H. contingent, forming part of A Company, lost several men in an action at Karee Siding in Orange Free State at the end of April. On returning to India in January 1901, Trooper Fletcher received a commission with the Army Service Corps.


His record with the A.S.C. is unknown, but by 1908, Christie had returned to England where he married Louise Eveline Conway in Wandsworth in the summer of 1908. They went on to have a daughter, Lucy, born in January 1909. Later that year, Christie, by now an electrical engineer, left England on the SS Virginian for Canada, arriving in Quebec on the 24th September, intending for onward travel to Whonnock, British Columbia. His wife and daughter joined him in 1911, and they settled in Vancouver, B.C.


At the age of 40 he volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force on the 4th December 1914. His medical records describe him as 5ft 6ins tall weighing 142 lbs. He served as a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles. The battalion embarked for Great Britain on the 12th June 1915. After a few months training at Shorncliffe in Kent, they disembarked in France on the 22nd September 1915 as part of the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade. The battalion converted to infantry in January 1916, joining the 8th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division, and fought in Belgium and France. Christie was killed on 30th September 1916, the day before the battalion was due to attack the Ancre Heights on the Somme, a battle in which the division would sustain almost 3,000 casualties. His grave is at Vimy in France.

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