The Christmas family

Wartime service photographs

By David Middleton

William (Bill) Christmas (b. 1893) (left) and Charlie Calcraft (b. 1888; d. 1963) (right) 'Just before the First World War. About 1912-13'
WW1 postcard (embossed K. Jacob, number 11352) showing Redginald Christmas (b. 1896) on the left and friend to the right
Reginald Christmas photographed with the Bottesford Squad Mobilisation 1914
Sgt. William Ernest Christmas
Peter Christmas 1943

This series of four photographs shows members of the Christmas family who served in both the First and Second World Wars.

We are most grateful to Pat and Mike Christmas for making these photographs available.

This page was added on 20/01/2010.

Comments about this page

  • I have posted what surviving details are available for William Christmas elsewhere on this site but here are Reginald’s MIC details. Reginald was a private in the Leics Regiment No. 27918. Although born in 1896 and therefore only 18 in 1914, he must have been a pre war territorial to be in the 1914 mobilization photo on this site. He later transferred to the Middlesex Rgt as private G/100900. He was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals but not according to his MIC either a 1914 or 1915 Star. Therefore, he must have been transferred to a battalion of the Middx Rgt within Kitchener’s New Army and arrived in France post 1915, most likely for the Somme offensive of July 1916. Neither William’s or Reginald’s full service records survived the blitz of WW2.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (21/01/2010)
  • Many thanks for this follow up information. We have managed to trace quite a few pages of Bill Christmas’s military record – 28 in all in the National Archive listed under ‘E.W. Christmas.’ They provide a vivid record of his military service and his rapid promotion to Sgt. Towards the end of the war he qualified as a Tank Mechanic and transferred to the Tank Corp. It must have been this training and experience that enabled him to set up the Christmas and Chorlton Garage in Bottesford. Prior to WW1 his attestation papers filled out on his enlistment on May 1st 1914 record him as working for Mr Page as a nurseryman on Belvoir Road where the Howitt housing estate is now situated.

    By David Middleton (21/01/2010)
  • Thank you for your notes about the service records which totally illustrates the vagaries of family tracing. Using “Ancestry” his records are shown as not being available! I think the phrase “Leave no stone unturned” springs to mind.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (21/01/2010)
  • Regarding Jonathan D’Hoogh’s statement above; You are quite correct. As a one-time collector of British Army cap-badges, Reg Christmas is indeed a Territorial (T.F.) soldier as he wears the Leicestershire Tiger cap-badge minus the “Hindoostan” top scroll, which was a battle honour only allowed to the regular element and not the Territorial Force. You can also just see his epaulette T. Titles, which would have been, T.5 Leicestershire.

    By Richard Bradshaw (15/02/2010)
  • I have a bible which is inscribed to Reginald Christmas from your mother for your birthday 1898 march Cambridgeshire.

    By mr j brogan (06/02/2017)

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