CHRISTIE, Thomas John
Honours & Awards:
Commissioned as 2/Lieut. with the Royal Signals on the 29th November 1944 Thomas John Christie was awarded the MC for gallant and distinguished services in NW Europe.
CitationLieutenant Christie is the lines officer in the 1st Commando Brigade Signal Troop. He was in charge of the line party detailed to produce line communication across the Rhine after the brigade had made good the bridgehead at Wesel. It was considered vital that this line should be laid at the earliest possible moment. This task was extremely hazardous. All bridges across the Rhine had been demolished and there was considerable shelling and sniping of bridge exits. As soon as a message had been received that the objective had been captured, Lieutenant Christie took a small picked line party down to the demolished railway bridge. At this point the town of Wesel had not been completely cleared of the enemy and the line party had to work in full view of the enemy machine gun post sited upstream on the east bank of the River. Ordering his small party to pay out the line, Lieutenant Christie commenced climbing across the twisted bridge spans carrying the line with him. At times he had to climb over girders 100 feet above the river while at other times he picked his path along spans which were partly submerged in the water. The pull on the quadruple cable whenever it touched the water was tremendous, nevertheless by sheer courage and determination, Lieutenant Christie crossed the full 1,500-foot length of the demolished bridge under heavy shell fire and spasmodic sniping and machine gun fire, and thus enabled vital communication to be established before the first pontoon bridge had been commenced. This officer’s devotion to duty and complete disregard for his own safety was an inspiration to all who witnessed it. Throughout the campaign he has continuously shown a high standard of efficiency, and his work in line laying during the difficult operations over the Rhine, Weser, Aller and Elbe has, at all times been beyond praise. Sources: London Gazettes Supp. 36897, page 452. London Gazettes Supp. 37302, page 4999. National Archives WO/373/55/98.
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