People on board
John Christy was born on the 7th of August 1897 in Rainford, Lancashire to Edward Christy and Jane Fox. He was the second of their five children. Both Edward and Jane were from the town of Skelmersdale which in 1880 had fourteen collieries in the area. Edward worked as a ‘Weigh Clerk’ at a colliery, specified in the 1901 census as ‘Above Ground’. In the 1911 census the eldest son, Henry, was a ‘Colliery Carpenter’.
John Christy attended Bushy Lane Church of England Primary School in Rainford and then gained a scholarship to Upholland Grammar School in Wigan. In August 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and in October 1918 he was a Signalman on HMS Colleen, a depot ship at Haulbowline, Queenstown, Cork.
According to a report in the Omskirk Advertiser on the 24th of October he received a wire that his mother was seriously ill, and that he should return home. He travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th and did not survive the sinking, nor was his body recovered. His mother, Jane Christy, was buried in Skelmersdale Cemetery on the 9th of November and John’s name was also recorded on the gravestone. His name is also recorded on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, on the Upholland Grammar School Roll of Honour, and along with his brother Edward who served with the Lancashire Fusiliers and survived, on the Bushy Lane School Memorial.