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Regimental History

Victoria Cross Holders of the King's Own Royal Regiment

Private Harry Christian VC

Victoria Cross awarded to Private Harry Christian, number 10210, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

Born in 1891 at Wallthwaite, Pennington near Ulverston, Harry Christian was educated at the National School in Ulverston. After several farming jobs he enlisted in the King’s Own in 1910 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion in India. Having returned to England with his unit in December 1914, he went to France in February 1915 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at Givenchy on 18th October, during the Battle of Loos.

The citation in the 'London Gazette' is as follows:-

“For most conspicuous bravery. He was holding a crater with five or six men in front of our trenches. The enemy commenced a very heavy bombardment of the position with heavy Minenwerfer bombs, forcing a temporary withdrawal. When he found that three men were missing, Pte. Christian at once returned alone to the crater, and, although bombs were continually bursting actually on the edge of the crater, he found, dug out, and carried one by one into safety all three men, thereby undoubtedly saving their lives. Later he placed himself where he could see the bombs coming, and directed his comrades when and where to seek cover.”

He was subsequently badly wounded and returned home. In September 1917 he received his Victoria Cross from King George V in Glasgow. This was the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to the Regiment in the war. He later returned to the 2nd Battalion in Salonika and was eventually discharged in 1919. For 40 years he was landlord at the Park Head Inn, Egremont, Cumberland and was a lifelong member of the Regimental Association. He died at Thornhill, Egremont, on 2nd September 1974, aged 82.

His Victoria Cross, and other medals, were purchased in 1974 by the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.

Private Harry Christian VC
Accession Number: KO1117/01 and KO2590/378

Private Harry Christian VC.
Accession Number: KO1301/01

Private Harry Christian receives his Victoria Cross from King George V during a royal visit to Glasgow, September 1917.
Accession Number: KO1117/08

Medal group of Private Harry Christian, VC.
Accession Number: KO1117/01-06

The reverse of Private Harry Christian's Victoria Cross, which shows his name, rank, number, unit and the date for the award.
Accession Number: KO1117/01

Victor Comic which details the award of the VC to Private Harry Christian.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

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