When Christopher enlisted into the army, on 20 April 1915, he was living at 11 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester and was earning his living as a horsekeeper. His enlistment papers record that he said he was a month short of his 29 birthday. It is possible that he had claimed a younger age to join up - when his death was recorded only three years later, the age given to the Registrar was 34. His trade, of course, made him an ideal recruit for the Veterinary Corps. Christopher's service file still exists at the National Archives and it shows him to have stood just short of 5' 8"and weighed 140 pounds. The examining doctor recorded that he was in good physical condition.
He went overseas on 9 November 1915 and remained on active service until 28 November 1917. Just prior to going on active service, he married Annie Edge at St Mary's Church, Cheadle. Perhaps still celebrating, he went absent from duty for a few hours on 7 November and forfeited a days pay. Once overseas, he had two brief stays in hospital but his illness is not recorded. In late August 1916, he was granted a week's leave but was again in trouble for returning late. This time he was fined three days pay.
He had reported sick in the September, suffering from bronchitis and had been given light duties. In November he returned home on leave and reported sick again. He was admitted to the Army's 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester where he remained until 26 March 1918, having been now diagnosed with tuberculosis. Christopher was discharged from the army on 20 April.
He returned to the family home now at 2 Bank Street, Cheadle where he died. He lived there with Annie and his father, also called Christopher.
(Originally researched by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)