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Battista, C., Dvr., M.M., 1914-18 (1973 )

Photo : Sophie Tobin. Celesta

Medal Index Card

Military Medal Medal Award Card

Illustrated Chronicle Tuesday 27th August 1918:

Shields Daily News Tuesday 27th August 1918

Celesta Battista was born on the 2nd January 1897 at 28 Trafalgar Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Antonio, [born 1855, died 20th January 1936], and Christina {Fancredi D'Andrea} Battista, born 20th September 1860, Cassino Italy, died 26th May 1945. They were married in 1884, and had 9 children, 7 survived 2 died.

The children were Antonio, born 7th September 1885, died 1888, Angelo, born Cassino, Italy, 21st May 1883, [married Hannah Battista from South Shelds, in January 1911], Remigio Alphonse Battista, born 14th October 1889, Cassino, Frosinone, Lazio, Italy, died in 1969, [who won the Military Medal in WW1], Rosina, 'Rose' born 21st July 1892, Newcastle. Vincent, born Newcastle 1895, Francesco, [Frank], born Newcastle 21st July 1899 and Philip, born Newcastle 1903.

In 1891, Antonio and Christina with their eldest boy Angelo were residing at 20 Carliol Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

By 1901 they had moved and were residing at 28 Trafalgar Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Where the rest of the 5 children were born.

Antonio, was a self employed Boot Maker, and had two other brothers called Vincenzo, born 29th March 1852, died 4th January 1900, and Giovanni, born 8th April 1845, died 1901, who had settled with their families in Newcastle upon Tyne around 1874.

In 1911, Celesta now 14, was employed as a newspaper boy, with his brother Vincent, age 16. Angelo the eldest had just got married to Hannah Battista, [born 12th February 1891], about 3 months ago, he was an ice Cream Hawker working from home.

By 1911, they are all residing at 2 Picton Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Celesta attested on the 12th February 1915, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, aged 18 years and 1 month old into the Royal Artillery service nu 80305 as a Driver. On his record it shows his children and his wife Jane Hogg, [born 2nd November 1903]. They were married on the 29th November 1920, Philip was born 1st April 1921, Rosemary, born 23rd March 1923 [married a John K Smith in 1944], and another child Kenneth born 10th December 1924. [Possibly was at St Vincents Boys School Temple Hill, Dartford, Dartford, Kent, England in 1939].

Celesta embarked at Southampton on the 16th February 1917, on to the SS Anglo Canadian arrived at Le Havre on the 18th February.

Celesta was awarded the Military Medal. Gazetted on the 19th November 1917. He was in 'A' Battery of the 177th Royal Field Artillery brigade. 'A' Bty. 177th Brigade R.F.A. This brigade served with the 16th (Irish) Division and took part in the battles of Passchendaele and Third Ypres in 1917.

On the 26th August 1918, Celesta was presented by the Mayor of Newcastle, Mr A. Monro Sutherland the Military Medal at the Newcastle Exchange as well as a small Cheque.

Illustrated Chronicle -Tuesday 27th August 1918:Sir George Lunn Presents Medals on 'Exchange.
At Newcastle Commercial Exchange yesterday, the Lord Mayor (Sir George Lunn) presented medals to local soldiers - Sergt. T Middlemas and Driver D. Battista. The soldier heroes are seen above with the Lord Mayor and friends.

'After his return from the War, he resided firstly at 73 Blenheim Street, then after 1921, he resides at 73 Blandford Street.
He was finally discharged from the Army on the 4th June 1921.

Celesta married Jane Anne, [nee Hogg], born 29th November 1903 in October 1920, [died in March 1979], and they resided at 124 Blandford Street. They had 8 children, and by 1939 they were residing at 83 Sycamore Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was a Roofing Felt Fixer.

With them were three children, Philip 'Don' Battista, died 29th May 1998, Rosemary, born 23rd March 1923, died in 1990, and Kenneth died in March 1997. Another son Celesta Battista Jr was born on the 25th July 1931, died 1998.

Christine his mother in 1939, was residing at 103 Blandford Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with her crippled son Frank. She died on the 26th May 1945.

Celesta {Lester} worked for the Limmer and Trinidad Lake Asphalt Co Ltd. He was the head foreman on the asphalt contract on the bridges during its construction.
Celesta Battista died on the 27th June 1973.

He was buried at Elswick Cemetery on the 2nd July 1973.

Evening Chronicle 28/06/1973.
Battista. Newcastle. 10, Edgeware Road, on June 27, aged 76 years. Celeste (M.M.) beloved husband of Jane Ann (nee Hogg) and dearest father of Philip, Rosemary, Kenneth and Celesta. Interment Elswick Cemetery on Monday 11 a.m. Leaving residence at 10.40 a.m. Friends please meet at Cemetery R.I.P.

Research: Angela Conroy/Sophie Tobin/James Pasby

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