Alfred Bembrick Christie aka Delaney

First Name: 
Alfred
Middle Name: 
Bembrick
Last Name: 
Christie
Mother's Name: 
Dorothy Christie nee Martin
Father's Name: 
Alexander Christie
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, October 31, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
14th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcements
Company: 
D Company
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, May 2, 1915
Place of Death: 
Gallipoli
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Alfred Bembrick Christie (Service No 1520/ 1583) was born in Newtown, NSW, around 1896.

At enlistment, Alfred gave his name as Alfred Delaney, and stated that his place of birth was Wellington, India. He claimed to be single, 20 years old, and that he worked as a junior electoral engineer. He also stated that he had spent 12 months in the cadets. Alfred listed his father, Mr Delaney of the Duke of Wellington Hotel in Melbourne, as his next of kin. He listed his mother as Mrs Delaney of Otford, N.S.W.
In fact, Alfred lived at the station house, Otford, N.S.W., when he enlisted, but made his way to Melbourne to enlist. His father was station master at Otford.

He embarked on HMAT A54 Runic with 3rd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion on 19th February 1915.
After training in Egypt he landed on Gallipoli on 25th April. Alfred was involved in a charge at Dead Mans Ridge when he was killed.
According to the AIF, Alfred was killed on 2nd May 1915, but a witness states that he was killed at the landing on 25th April 1915 by a bullet wound. The witness, a Private from D Company, 14th Battalion, saw Delaney’s name on the tablet and gave a statement at Heliopolis Palace Hospital, Cairo, on 29th November 1915.

Alfred was buried at Gaba Tape with others and a tablet with their names on was erected by Rev Gillison, since killed. Alfred’s personal effects consisted of a diary only. But in the diary was a letter written by Rev Gillison, who buried Alfred,dated 28th April 1915, stating Alfred died that morning and was buried that afternoon. Whatever day Alfred died he was only 18yrs old.

When the AIF tried to contact Alfred’s father to notify of his death, they could find no trace of him using Alfred's information on his enlistment papers, as they were looking for a Mr Delaney. The AIF finally managed to find his mother and informed her of his death. The family were then living at the station house, Wollstonecraft, Sydney. His parents requested that the correct name be placed on the headstone. Both names appear on the headstone.

Alfred’s mother Dorothy had to sign a Statutory Declaration stating Alfred was her son. In it she stated she would not give him permission to join the AIF as he was under age. She eventually received Alfred’s Victory Medal and Memorial Plaque.

Aflred was buried at Monash Valley, but his body was moved from an isolated grave and re interned at the nearest Military Cemetery, at Shrapnel Valley. Alfred is buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery 400yds SE of Anzac Cove: Plot 4 Row E, Grave 4.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, DELANEY A

Images

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.