Christopher’s father ran a hairdressing business in Woodstock Road, but Christopher became a Master Bootmaker and emigrated to Canada.
Born in Oxford
Christopher Choldcroft was born in Oxford in 1888. His parents had moved to Oxford in 1884 with their two children. Christopher was the third of eight more children, all of whom were baptised at Walton Street Methodist Church.
By 1897 Christopher’s father was running his own hairdressing business in Woodstock Road, where the family lived. By 1911 young Christopher was a Master Bootmaker, living in Brighton and working from his one-roomed home, but in 1913 he emigrated to Canada.
Enlisted in Canada
Christopher enlisted in October 1914 in Canada and arrived in England in February 1915. He served as a Private with the 3rd (Toronto) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and was in France in May 1915. His unit was not in major combat but were sometimes in trenches under heavy fire. At other times it was very quiet, and casualties were light.
Then in December Christopher was given 9 days’ leave, returning for his unit’s Christmas party. Their local Germans tried to be friendly but there was no Christmas truce that year and they were given short shrift.
Hit by a shell
The unit was not in specific action over the winter. But unluckily for Christopher he was in the quartermasters’ store at Dramoutre (now Dranouter) when it was hit by a shell on 19 February 1916. He was one of three men and two horses killed. He was aged 27, and was buried nearby at Loker Cemetery. He is also remembered at St Giles Church in Oxford and on their website, and on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.