Archibald Christy was born in Ilford in 1896, he had a sister Violet also born
in Ilford who was three years older than him. His father, Archibald was Essex
born and according to the 1901 Census was aged 38 and a surveyor and architect.
Agnes his mother was not from Essex, she had been born in Marylebone, London
and was 3 years older than her husband. By 1901 Philips family lived in
Ingatestone, and they lived at Wellmead in the village. He had been educated at
Haileybury School, StAlbans, from 1910 to 1912. The school archives record that
he was an early leaver, which indicated that possibly his academic progress had
been slow. In addition they have little else to add except that he had his
adenoids out and thereafter was much more lively, and that he was in the House
shooting team that won the cup. The testimonial he left with, composed by his
Housemaster was a masterpiece of hedging, and the most positive part was that
he felt that the young Philip would cope as an officer.
|In November, Philip was gazetted to the Special Reserve of the
Essex Regiment. This was the body of men who accepted that they could be
assigned to a battalion at any time. At the outbreak of the war he was posted
to the 3rd Battalion the Essex Regt, but within weeks had been reassigned to
the 2nd Battalion and found himself in France with the BEF on August 19th 1914
just 16 days into the war, where he fought at the Battle of the Aisne and in
Flanders. In January 1915 he gained permission for a scheme to drain the
trenches of water. His company was relieved on 7th Feb, but he asked to stay on
for two more days and on the morning he was due to leave he was killed by a
|He was buried in Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery, This cemetery
was created next to a building known as Essex House and is an example of a
regimental cemetery, many of which were made in 1914 and 1915. The 2nd Essex
and 2nd Monmouthshire Regiments began it in November 1914, and there are now
218 First World War burials in the cemetery..
|Strangely he was gazetted to Lieutenant on 7thAugust 1915 but
antedated to 5th August 1914, why we may never know, but it seems that Philip
knew his duty even at that young age. Remaining to finish his task, which
ultimately cost him his life.
|If you look on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website,
Philips age is shown as 17, the birth date is incorrect and he was 19
when he died. Casual researchers beware all is not as it seems!