Neil’s personal decades: 23 –- 1915 — Christisons

My maternal grandfather, Roy Hampton Christison, continued as a country school teacher through World War I: see More tales from my mother 2 — Felled Timber Creek and More tales from my mother 3 — Braefield NSW 1916-1923.

The War still raged and Dad could not be accepted by the Army as he had only one eye, the result of an accident at 10 years of age playing soldiers: the boy in front of him with a stick to his shoulder instead of a gun poked Dad’s eye out. Strangely he became a teacher by clerical error because when he went for his medical check-up on joining the Department the clerk placed his name on the wrong list and it was not discovered until after he had already been successfully teaching for some years.

He had a brother though: David Belford Christison.

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His life was short. He married Flora Fletcher 1n 1907 and had three children, all daughters as far as I have been able to find out. According to one source Flora died as recently as 1971. I never met her. David died four years after returning from World War 1.

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Perhaps that was inserted by Roy; the wording is a touch odd as other family members are not mentioned. A Return Thanks on 14 July 1923 reads: “The Members of the FAMILY of tho late DAVID BELFORD CHRISTISON (ex A.I.F.), desire to sincerely THANK his friends, fellow-employees, and the Rev. G. A. Craike, for their kindly expressions of sympathy in the hour of sorrow and trial occasioned by his untimely and lamented death.”

His military record is available. He was a sapper.

Engineers, also known as sappers, were essential to the running of the war. Without them, other branches of the Allied Forces would have found it difficult to cross the muddy and shell-ravaged ground of the Western Front. Their responsibilities included constructing the lines of defence, temporary bridges, tunnels and trenches, observation posts, roads, railways, communication lines, buildings of all kinds, showers and bathing facilities, and other material and mechanical solutions to the problems associated with fighting in all theatres.

In civilian life he had been a postman.  He managed to get himself blown up by an exploding shell in 1918 leaving a permanent knee injury.

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