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rolt968

Bombardier A N Christison Indian Volunteer Artillery

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rolt968

While I was checking through some local newspapers and almanacs for any information on people on the war memorials I am working on I ran a across an entry:

Bombardier A N Christison

Indian Volunteer Artillery (Rangoon)

Prisoner of War at Kut.

Reported dead 1 May 1916.

(I'm not sure if Rangoon refers to where he was in India/Burma or if it is part of the unit title.)

From his name and the fact of the almanac entry I wondered if he should have been on one of the war memorials I am working on.

He is on the Brechin war memorial (which I am not working on) - only surname and initials.

He does have an Indian Forces medal card which gives him as:

Gunner A N Christison

Indian Defence Force

SN: 17

(I haven't downloaded it yet.)

I have searched CWGC under Christison; Indian Defence Force, Indian Defence Force Artillery, and even Serial No. 17, but have not found him.

So far the only military or Indian record I have found is the Medal Card.

I'm beginning to wonder if he has been missed by CWGC or turned up after be reported dead.

R.

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Langdon

This popped up in Ancestry's Outward Passenger Lists - listed as Scottish and travelling 1st Class...

Name: Mr A N Christison

Gender: Male

Departure Date: 16 Sep 1909

Port of Departure: Liverpool, England

Destination Port: Rangoon, Burma

Ship Name: Irrawaddy

Search Ship Database: Search the 'Irrawaddy' in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database

Shipping line: P Henderson and Co

Official Number: 115767

Master: Jas Mitchell

Mike

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Zeb

The Royal Artillery Museum might have something on the unit, but otherwise not sure.

Zeb

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Langdon

I haven't got access to the 1911 Scottish census but there's an Andrew A Christison aged 12 in the 1901 census - born in Broughty Ferry, Forfar - father William mother Isabella.

Mike

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rolt968

This popped up in Ancestry's Outward Passenger Lists - listed as Scottish and travelling 1st Class...

Name: Mr A N Christison

Gender: Male

Departure Date: 16 Sep 1909

Port of Departure: Liverpool, England

Destination Port: Rangoon, Burma

Ship Name: Irrawaddy

Search Ship Database: Search the 'Irrawaddy' in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database

Shipping line: P Henderson and Co

Official Number: 115767

Master: Jas Mitchell

Mike

Thank you!

That looks like our man. I think I can pick that one up in the Indian records. There was certainly an incoming A Christison in 1909.

With bit of luck one record will have an age.

I will also follow up the 1901 census.

R.

R.

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Maureene

He may have been a member of the Rangoon Port Defence Volunteer Corps, which had an Artillery section. There is a FIBIS Fibiwiki page of this name http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Rangoon_Port_Defence_Volunteer_Corps

There is some documentation about units of Indian Volunteer Artillery which fought in East Africa with the Indian Army. Forum member Harry Fecitt (bushfighter) has written an article about these units

I have not heard of Volunteer units in Mesopotamia, other than units connected with the Railways. However, that does not mean it did not happen, rather it is not well documented. or documented at all.

There is a FIBIS Fibiwiki page Auxiliary Regiments which sets out the background of these Volunteer Regiments

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Auxiliary_Regiments

All the Regiments were disbanded in 1947 after Independence for India, so there are no regimental archives surviving. Presumably the same applies for Burma.

Cheers

Maureen

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rflory

Bomdr. Christison served with the Volunteer Artillery Battery at Kut and was captured there when the garrison surrendered. A List of Officers and Men of the Battery who were serving with the Battery at Kut indicates that prior to the war he was an engineer at Rangoon. He was wounded on 24 December 1915 and sometime in March 1916. He died as a POW at Shamran on 1 May 1916. The Volunteer Artillery Battery was commanded by Major A. J. Anderson, CSI with Capt. K F Freeland, Lieut. R. M. Spence, 2nd Lieut. F B Davern and 2nd Lieut. E. H. Jones as the other officers. The total strength of the Battery was 67, of whom 38 became casualties. 45 of the men were taken POW with 18 of them dying during captivity.

Dick Flory

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Maureene

I have now found

En-Dor Unveiled : The Story Behind the Road to En-dor by Tony Craven Walker February 2014. Contains correspondence from E H Jones (mentioned by Dick Flory above)

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hesperuspress.com%2Fthe-road-to-en-dor%2Fdownloads%2FEndorUnveiled.pdf (html version)

http://www.hesperuspress.com/the-road-to-en-dor/download-free-ebook.htm (links to other downloads)

This refers to E H Jones being a member of the Volunteer Artillery Battery (Rangoon Contingent). I think it is very likely that this unit had connections with the Rangoon Port Defence Volunteer Corps, mentioned by me in post 6

E H Jones' book The Road to En-Dor published in 1920, is available on Archive.org https://archive.org/details/roadtoendor00unkngoog

Dick Florey, do you know whether the entire Volunteer Artillery Battery at Kut was from Rangoon?

Cheers

Maureen

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rflory

Maureen: 2nd Lieut. E. H. Jones was an officer in the Volunteer Artillery Battery and is listed as coming from I. C. S., Burma. Fifty of the 67 men in the battery were from Burma.

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Maureene

Many thanks, Dick.

For documentary purposes (I do volunteer research for the FIBIS Fibiwiki), are you able to give a source reference for the above information?

Do you know where the other 17 men came from?

Cheers

Maureen

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rolt968

Bomdr. Christison served with the Volunteer Artillery Battery at Kut and was captured there when the garrison surrendered. A List of Officers and Men of the Battery who were serving with the Battery at Kut indicates that prior to the war he was an engineer at Rangoon. He was wounded on 24 December 1915 and sometime in March 1916. He died as a POW at Shamran on 1 May 1916. The Volunteer Artillery Battery was commanded by Major A. J. Anderson, CSI with Capt. K F Freeland, Lieut. R. M. Spence, 2nd Lieut. F B Davern and 2nd Lieut. E. H. Jones as the other officers. The total strength of the Battery was 67, of whom 38 became casualties. 45 of the men were taken POW with 18 of them dying during captivity.

Dick Flory

Many thanks Dick.

The list doesn't give his age by any chance?

Do we have someone who has been missed by CWGC? Or have I missed him somewhere?

R.

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rflory

The source of my information is a photocopy of a handwritten manuscript titled With the Volunteer Artillery Battery in Kut and Mesopotamia, 1915-1916. It was most likely compiled by Major A. J. Anderson who commanded the Battery during that period as his name and address is written on the front interleaf.

It gives rank, name, civil occupation, casualty dates and awards. Ages are not given.

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Maureene

Thank you Dick.

By coincidence, I received FIBIS Journal No 32 today. On page 25, (in an article called "Trumpeter Inwood, an Anglo-Indian hero of the Kut Garrison" by Rosemary Reardon, quoting TNA WO 157/1059) there is a reference to 'Searle of the Bombay Artillery' then a POW at Derbishyah

Is there a Searle on your list of the Volunteer Artillery Battery?

rolt968, perhaps you could contact the "In from the Cold Project"

http://www.infromthecold.org

Cheers

Maureen

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rflory

There is no person with the surname "Searle" on the list. Dick Flory

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Maureene

Thank you for checking Dick

Cheers

Maureen

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Timbob1001

Hi Dick

WOuld you be able to check the details of another VB NCO for me?

1349 SERGT. J.G. ROLLO V.A. BTTY.

Thanks

Tim

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rflory

Tim: Sgt Rollo is on the list of men at Kut with the Volunteer Artillery Battery. He is listed as later being an Orderly at Gedos. It indicates that before the war he was employed with the Boot Department, Rowe & Company, Rangoon.

Dick Flory

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Timbob1001

Dear Dick

Thanks so much - sounds like this chap probably had a reasonable time as a Turkish POW - Gedos was a parole camp on the shore of the Black Sea established late in 1917, where officers who gave their word that they would not escape were well treated.

BEst Wishes

Tim

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rolt968

Thanks to Chris Harley who found an entry in the English Probate Calendar for 1917 and passed it on to me.

I am sure we have a solution, although there is a lot I don't know.

The probate calendar entry was for Alexander Napier Christison of Kanoungtoe, Rangoon, Burma[h], Bombardier, Indian Volunteer Artillery, who died on 1 May 1916 on active service in Mesopotamia. The probate is to Alexander Christison, retired miller.

There was no will, but Alexander Christison of 201 Strathmartin Road, Dundee was granted/ permitted administration as a creditor.

Alexander Napier Christison is described as "Intestate, a Bachelor, a Bastard". (A bit blunt, the law at times.!)

Alexander [Napier] Christison was born the illegitimate son of Isabella Christison, at Mill of Glenbervie, Kincardineshire on 8 May 1865. His birth was registered as Alexander Christison.

In the 1871 Census he is listed as Alexander N Christison and living with his mother and Grandparents (and his uncle Alexander Christison) at Newmill of Arnhall, Fettercairn, Kincardineshire.

In the 1881 Census he is listed as Alexander Napier Christison and living with his widowed Grandmother (and his uncle Alexander Christison and an aunt and her children) at a house at Newmill, Arnhall, Fettercairn.

The retired miller in the probate living at 201 Strathmartin Road, Dundee was his uncle, Alexander Christison.

(Oddly enough I think that Andrew A[lexander] Christison mentioned in post #4 was a cousin of ANC by another uncle!)

There are big gaps (between 1881 and 1909)!

And a number of odd things.

Administration was granted by a court in Burma in 1917. Why did Alexander (the uncle) go to an English court not a Scottish one to pursue the claim for administration?

Why did the uncle ask for grant of administration as a creditor? Isabella Christison (mother) was still alive (but had married) was next of kin.

Why is he on the Brechin war memorial, but not Glenbervie (where he was born) or Fettercairn (where he seems to have grown up)?

At least I know who was.

RIP Bombardier Alexander Napier Christison (8 May 1865 to 1 May 1916).

Roger M

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clive_hughes

I believe the original of Major Anderson's diary account is held by the Dept. of Documents, IWM Lambeth.

Clive

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rolt968

Thanks Clive

I'll follow that up.

Roger M

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bushfighter

For any GWF Member interested in British Burma history, including that of Volunteer units, a subscription to the Anglo-Burma Library may prove worthwhile:

http://www.angloburmeselibrary.com/non-members-area.html

Harry

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rolt968

Alexander Napier Christison, died of wounds 100 years ago today. Rest In Peace.

RM

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TTracer44

From a Family History point of view the second name Napier could refer to the surname of the father, very often seen on 19th century birth certs were no fathers name is given, a second name that looks more like a surname

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rolt968

From a Family History point of view the second name Napier could refer to the surname of the father, very often seen on 19th century birth certs were no fathers name is given, a second name that looks more like a surname

I have been working on that theory (and found nothing yet). I have noticed the insertion of the father's name before when the child was living with the maternal grandparents. Next time I am looking at kirk session records, I will look if the mother was summoned by the local kirk session in which case we may have the father's name.

Roger M

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