Alexander James Christie

Alexander James Christie

Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery

Died 21st March 1918 aged 27

Corpl. A. J.  Christie R.F.A.

Alexander James Christie of the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery was the son of Alexander Christie and Mary Ann Tarves who married at Aberdeen in 1889. Alexander (senior) at the time of his wedding was a Postboy and later Carrier between Torphins and Kincardine O’Neil and a native of Kincardine O’Neil. Mary Ann came from Leslie. Their son Alexander was born in Kincardine O’Neil village on Christmas Eve 1890.

The censuses of 1891 and 1901 record the family living in the village. By 1901, Alexander aged 10 and his two sisters Isabella (6) and Dorothea (4) were at school and there was a baby brother John; their mother’s mother, Mary Tarves (aged 76), lived with them. Later Mrs Christie resided at Hillside, Kincardine O’Neil.

Christie was a soldier of the regular army who had served for nine years by the time of his death in the final year of the war, by which time he was a Corporal in the 42nd Battery, 2 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (service no. 60646). The probability is that he was with 2 Brigade throughout the war in which case he would have been sent to the continent with the British Expeditionary Force in the early weeks of the conflict, and served with the Brigade on the Western Front where they were deployed until the Armistice. In March 1918, as part of the 6th Division, 2 Brigade were manning the Lagnicourt Sector near Arras, and were about to become the focus of the German Spring Offensive in that part of the line. Christie was killed in action aged 27 on 21 March 1918 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He is also, along with his parents and other family members, commemorated in Kincardine O’Neil old churchyard north of, and next to the west end of, the old kirk, as follows:

“In loving memory of Alexander Christie who died on 2nd November 1924 aged 66 years also his wife Mary Ann Tarves who died on 6th April 1950 in her 92nd year and their eldest son Alexander James killed in action 21st March 1918 aged 28 years and their younger daughter Dorothy who died at Cape Town, South Africa, 27th January 1970 aged 77 years”.