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Chrisp, T., C.S.M., MM., 1917

Photo : Jane Glass

Medal Index Card

Thomas Chrisp [Senior] with his family

Newcastle Evening Chronicle Friday 7th May 1915

In Neuville-Vitasse Road Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 1946, 300137 Company Serjeant Major Thomas Chrisp, serving with the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 22/06/1917.

Thomas Chrisp was born on the 7th October 1892 at Dargues, near Otterburn, the second eldest of four children to a Thomas Chrisp, [born Shipley Moor, in August, 1858, baptised on the 19th September 1858, died in January 1910], a police constable and his wife Isabella Ann 'Annie' nee Charlton, born 16th January 1869, died 1945. They were married at St. John the Baptist Church, Otterburn, Northumberland on the 18th December 1890.

The other children were Meggie born 20th July 1891, William Chrisp born 13th February 1895 and Alice born 1898, they were all born at Elsdon except Alice who was born at 107 Foremans Row, Seaton Delaval. The family moved to Seaton Delaval after 1896.

Thomas Chrisp senior was at the Ouseburn Police Station in 1881 as a Police constable. By 1891 Thomas was married to Isabella Ann [Annie] Charlton and were residing at Darques, Toughend. In 1896 they were all residing at 107 Foremans Row, Seaton Delaval and were still there in 1901.

3rd Photo on the right : James Dickinsons Studio Newcastle upon Tyne

Thomas senior had been moved to Wooler in August 1905 and was promoted to an Inspector in 1907. Thomas Junior then was educated at the Wooler Church of England School, then from September 1906 he was at the Dukes School, Alnwick. Whilst at the Dukes School, Thomas played football and cricket. On the 1st August 1910, at the New Dukes school playing Fields there was a sports meeting, he came third in the Quarter Mile Foot race, he came second in the Half mile Handicap Race, and in the Mile Handicap Foot race Silver Challenge Cup he came second in a dead heat with a Middlemiss, sharing second and third prizes. On the 30th June 1911, Thomas was playing cricket for the Dukes school against Morpeth Grammar School, Thomas took 3 wickets and scored nil in his innings. Morpeth Grammar School 126 all out, Dukes School 51 all out.

Thomas left the Dukes school in the summer of 1911 and began working as an assistant at the Guide post Primary School Choppington. Thomas started to work part time as a part-time pupil teacher at Wooler Church of England, [then called Alnwick Church of England] from 1911. By 1911, Thomas Junior was not recorded at Seaton Delaval, he was residing at Alnwick with his Uncle Inspector Sanderson.

His future wife May Dickinson Hedley, [born 24th October 1889, baptised 27th November 1889, to James Temple Hedley and his wife Mary, one of four children, however one died], was a school mistress teacher, as was her sister Mary Elisa Leonard Hedley, both employed by the Northumberland Education Committee. She started work the same day as her future husband at the Guide Post Primary School at Choppington.

When the father died in 1910, the family moved to Denwick Alnwick, but Isabella managed to get a job as a caretaker at the Hexham Magistrates Court and moved there to reside in the Court House with the family. Thomas stayed at Alnwick.

Thomas attended Bede College, from 1912 to train as a teacher, and enrolled in the Bede College O.T.C. within 'A' Company. As required he attended annual camps at Scarborough and Conway in 1914. Thomas enlisted in August 1914 at the Bede College. He was allocated the service number 1946, and was in 'A' Company.

Thomas Chrisp was embodied for overseas service and volunteered to serve overseas, promoted sergeant. On the 19th April he is at Folkestone embarking for France, on the SS Onward arriving on the 20th April 1915 at Boulogne.

Thomas was allowed leave to the UK to get married.

Thomas Chrisp married May Dickinson nee Hedley, residing at Summerleigh, on the 24th June 1916, at Hexham Abbey. They had one child, John Thomas Hedley Chrisp born 17th March 1917.

May Dickinson nee Hedley, family were residing at 4 South Parade, in 1901, prior in 1891 they were residing at the Guide Post, Bedlington.

In the 2nd battle of Ypres, Thomas was wounded, at Boetleer's Farm, [Bootlace Farm], by a gunshot wound to his right arm and left thigh. He returned to the UK to Ward 28, 3rd Northern Hospital, Collegiate Hall, Sheffield to recover. Whilst in Hospital he wrote a letter to the Newcastle Daily Chronicle editor dated the 7th May 1915. Asking if it could be printed. see attached photograph.

After recovering from his wounds he was involved in training other recruits, then promoted to Company Sergeant Major. He rejoined the composite 6/8th Battalion on the 26th July 1915.

Around the 12th June 1917, he was re-numbered with the service number 300137, the battalion was at Souastre, and Thomas was in a group photograph of fellow Sergeants and Warrant Officers. This can be seen in the 1/8th Battalion history by Major E. Hardinge Veitch.

Thomas Chrisp was killed on Saturday 23rd June by a Fishtail bomb, at approx 8 am, [Whizz-bang], that landed on his dugout entrance as he entered the dugout in trenches near Cherisy.

May was still teaching in 1939, and was residing at 14 South Parade, Bedlington, her son John Thomas Hedley Chrisp was residing with her at the same address, he was a communications engineer and an ARP as a decontamination worker for Bedlington. May re-married a Ralph Cochrane, baptised 9th August 1896, in July 1945, he died on the 4th June 1963.

Isabel Ann Chrisp with her daughter Meggie in 1939 were residing at 4 Spittal Terrace, Hexham, she was a shop assistant.

Thomas Crisp is remembered in Alnwick on A11.16, at Choppington on C36.01 and C36.02, in Wooler on W68.03, also in Durham on D47.017, D47.019, D47.043, D47.054, D47.99, D47.125, D47.126 and in D47.127b, also in D47.156a, at Hexham on H51.03, H51.06, H51.26, on H51.51 and in Teachers who fell in 1914-18

The CWGC entry for Company Sergeant Major Chrisp

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk