Sergeant-Mechanic James Allison Christie


James Allison Christie was born on 9 August 1892 in Castle Street, Antrim, the ninth of ten children of carpenter (also butcher) Henry Christie and his Scottish-born wife Jane (Jeanie) (née Allison). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Market Square, Ballyclare, County Antrim, as a boarder at the home of Samuel Stevenson, and working for him as a butcher.

Christie enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 3 May 1915 (No.1510). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916, probably with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron, which had been serving as divisional cavalry to the 34th Division, combined with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII Corps.

Christie left the regiment on 19 October that year, transferring to the Royal Flying Corps (No.50820) as an Air Mechanic Grade 2 with a trade classification of carpenter. On 1 July 1917 he was promoted to Air Mechanic Grade 1.

Christie was transferred to the Royal Air Force on its creation on 1 April 1918. He was promoted to corporal-mechanic on 16 May and sergeant-mechanic on 1 July. On 23 July 1918 he returned to England where he was posted to the Royal Naval Air Service sea plane base at South Shields, Durham. He was demobilised and transferred to the RAF's G Reserve on 11 February 1919.

On 26 October 1918 Christie had married Victoria Campbell at the Willowfield Church of Ireland Parish Church in Belfast. The couple had three children over the next five years. They emigrated to Canada in July 1926. James died at Toronto on 19 March 1952.


Christie's son James Henry served in the Royal Canadian Engineers in the Second World War. He was wounded in Italy in 1944.