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Enfield Victoria Cross winner commemorated with special ceremony

Published on:

06 December 2017

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A special service was held today (Wednesday 6 December) to honour the heroism of an Edmonton man who won a Victoria Cross during World War One.  

  • Lance-Corporal John Alexander Christie won the Victoria Cross for heroism in Palestine in 1917
  • Commemorative Paving Slab unveiled in Pymmes Park as part of national programme to honour Victoria Cross winners from World War One
  • Lance-Corporal Christie was born in Warwick Road, Edmonton in 1895

Soldiers from one of the British Army's most famous regiments council dignitaries, a representative of the Queen and members of the public came together today (Wednesday 6 December) to honour the heroism of a World War One hero.  

A service and unveiling ceremony took place in Pymmes Park, Edmonton, to mark the 100th anniversary of the bravery of Lance-Corporal John Alexander Christie.

Lance-Corporal Christie, who was born at 52 Warwick Road in 1895, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the United Kingdom's highest award for gallantry in the face of enemy fire, for his actions in Fejja, Palstine, on 21 and 22 December 1917 while serving in the 1/11th (County of London) Battalion London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles).

As part of a national campaign to mark the centenary of World War One, special paving slabs have been presented to the home boroughs of Victoria Cross recipients so their exploits can be honoured.

The service and unveiling of the commemorative slab in Pymmes Park was attended by serving members of the Rifles Regiment, representatives of the Royal British Legion, Mayor of Enfield Cllr Christine Hamilton, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson and Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Enfield, Ann Cable.

Lance-Corporal Christie's citation read: "On the 21st/22nd of December, 1917, at Fejja, Palestine, after a position had been captured, the enemy immediately made counter-attacks up the communication trenches.

"Lance-Corporal Christie, seeing what was happening, took a supply of bombs and went along about 50 yards in the open and bombed the enemy.

"He continued to do this in spite of heavy opposition until a block had been established. On his way back he bombed more of the enemy who were moving up the trench.

"His prompt action cleared a difficult position at a most difficult time and saved many lives."

Cllr Anderson, said: "The selfless courage shown by Enfield’s Victoria Cross awardees is truly humbling.

"It is right and proper that the communities in which these brave men were raised should commemorate their immense contribution in the field of human conflict.

“John Alexander Christie was a modest, yet nonetheless remarkable man, whose deeds will live long in the memory and inspire today’s generation for many years to come.

“We owe it to his memory and others like him to work collectively towards building strong communities, to continue striving towards a day when there is lasting peace, where people can live together in harmony, and where nations no longer have to send their young men and women to fight wars on foreign fields.”

After World War One, Mr Christie became a commercial traveller and went into catering and the wine business. He drive food-aid wagons in London during the General Strike in 1926 and attended the Victoria Cross Dinner at the Royal Gallery at the House of Lords on 9 November 1929.

He died in Bramhall, Cheshire, on 10 September 1967.