Ken Christie (left) unveils the plaque honouring his father, Lance Corporal 'Jock' Christie VC. Looking on is Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, a former head of the British Army

London rail station honours First World War soldier who won the Victoria Cross

Posted on centenarynews.com on 29 March 2014
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A plaque honouring a railwayman who won the Victoria Cross for bravery during the First World War has been unveiled at Euston station in London.

Lance Corporal John Alexander 'Jock' Christie received Britain's highest military award for valour for his actions during the Palestine campaign against Turkish and German forces in 1917.

Armed with bombs, he single-handedly repelled an enemy attempt to retake newly-captured positions during fighting at Feija, near the Mediterranean port of Jaffa.

The plaque commemorating Jock Christie was unveiled by his son, Ken, at Euston station on 28th March 2014. Jock was employed there as a parcels clerk by the London and North Western Railway before joining the British Army as a volunteer at the outbreak of the Great War.

He's one of only seven railwaymen known to have won the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration awarded to British and Commonwealth military personnel for conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy.

    

Ken Christie speaking at Euston; on the right are Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust; Robin Gisby, Managing Director (Operations) Network Rail; and Field Marshal Sir John Chapple

Flanked by standard bearers from the Royal British Legion, Ken Christie paid tribute to his father as an 'immensely modest' man: "He never spoke of winning the Victoria Cross. It was just one of those things that had happened and he wanted to put the experiences of the Great War, which were simply horrifying, behind him."

Mr Christie said Jock had kept the medal in a tiny drawer in his writing cabinet: "That's the way my father was. He became an affluent businessman after the war but often spoke about having worked on the railways until he joined a pals battalion, going off to war and a very uncertain future."

Jock, who served with 1/11th Battalion The London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles), was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 before he went to Palestine.

The plaque at Euston has been sponsored by the Railway Heritage Trust. Until now, there'd been no memorial to Jock on the railway.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail's Managing Director of Operations, acknowledged the honour was overdue: "It's high time we did this because this memorial should have been here a long time ago."

Jock Christie died in 1967 at the age of 72.

Source: Railway Heritage Trust

Date of press release publication: 28th March 2014

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News