|Memorial .||Thiepval Memorial||Picardie|
Awards & Titles:
Family :Son of Edwin and Margaret Abigail Christmas, of Southampton.
Action : The Battles of the Somme 1916
Edwin Cecil Russell CHRISTMAS (1886 ? 1916) was an English amateur footballer who played twice for Southampton in 1912. Born in Southampton in early 1886, he joined Southampton FC as an amateur in 1908 and made several appearances for the reserve team, but his business career prevented him devoting much time to football. In 1910 he left football to devote himself full-time to his business interests but was persuaded to return to The Dell by reserve team manager George Carter the following year. In March 1912, following the dismissal of first choice centre forward Henry Hamilton for a serious breach of club discipline, Christmas was drafted into the first team. Despite his pace and dribbling skills he was not a success and he returned to the reserves. Killed on the first day of the Battle of the Transloy Ridges during the latter part of the Somme, between Gaudecourt and Le Sars.
The Battle of the Somme 1st July - 18th November 1916 is inevitably characterised by the appalling casualties (60,000) on the first day, July 1st 1916. Having failed to break through the German lines in force, and also failed to maximise opportunities where success was achieved, the battle became a series of attritional assaults on well defended defence in depth. The battle continued officially until 18th November 1916 costing almost 500,000 British casualties. German casualties were about the same, and French about 200,000. The Somme could not be counted a success in terms of ground gained or the cost, but it had a strategic impact as it marked the start of the decline of the German Army. Never again would it be as effective whilst the British Army, learning from its experience eventually grew stronger to become a war winning army. The German High Command recognised that it could never again fight another Somme, a view that advanced the decision to invoke unrestricted submarine warfare in an attempt to starve Britain of food and material, and in doing so accelerated the United States declaration of war thus guaranteeing the eventual outcome. 287 Brethren were killed on the Somme in 1916.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Lodge of Peace and Harmony No. 359 E.C.||Hampshire & IOW|
18th January 1915
15th February 1915
21st June 1915
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Book : 1921 - Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918 - Oxford University Press
- Document : 1933 - Masonic Roll of Honour - Freemasons' Hall Vestibule - United Grand Lodge of England