WW1 Private Maxwell Christie 53653

Private Maxwell Christie

Maxwell Christie (53653) was born in Scotland to Maxwell and Alice Christie, on 1 February 1897. He came to New Zealand with his father in 1907 (his mother had died) and their address was c/- Mrs McLelland, Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland.

He attended Auckland Grammar School from 1911 and on leaving school he became an apprenticed plumber working with J. B. King in Auckland. The day after his 20th birthday on 2 February 1917, he volunteered for the Army. He was 5ft 7inches, with brown eyes and black hair.

He sailed on the 24 July 1917 for Plymouth, Devon, England on arriving on 25 September 1917, on HMNZT ‘Waitemata’ as a Private with the 28th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company, with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was sent to Etaples, in France on 26 October 1917. During December1917 and January 1918, he was seconded to the Australian Tunnellers. The Tunnellers, often specialist miners, dug tunnels under No Man’s Land, the main objective was to place mines beneath enemy defensive positions. When the mine was detonated, the explosion would destroy that section of the trench. [1]

When he re-joined the New Zealand Division, it had moved to the Somme, in Northern France. On 27 March 1918 the Division had repulsed a German attack and occupied the enemy’s front trenches. The German artillery in preparation fo a counter-attack, proceeded to shell the trenches which had been taken, and Maxwell Christie (53653) was killed instantaneously by the explosion of one of the shells. [2]

There is an obituary in the Auckland Grammar School Chronicle. Second Term, 1918 and a full family history in the AGS Roll of Honour. [3] He is remembered on the Auckland Grammar School War Memorial, New Zealand.