Andrew Lonie Christie

Text and Image: Sandra Kearney

Anzac Day 2020 will be a different experience for all of us. We will not rise before Dawn to make our way to the local war memorial. There to wait silently with our community in remembrance of all those who have served our country in time of peril.  We are asked by our local RSL to pause by the memorial to reflect on their sacrifice.

Andrew Lonie Christie – 41 Corporal

5 feet 9 inches, 166 pounds, 34-inch chest, blue eyes, dark hair

Corporal Andrew Christie

Photograph, nd, SRSA/GRS26/5/4/125

When Andrew Lonie Christie enlisted on 4 February 1915, he was a month away from his 22nd birthday. He resided at 7 Walter Street, Hyde Park, Adelaide with his mother. Andrew was placed in the 3rd/27th Infantry Battalion/B Company.  He arrived in France in March and was promoted to Corporal.  After returning from leave in England he rejoined the battle and was wounded in the thigh in August.  He was hospitalised in Boulogne then England and returned in October to the battlefield.   He was wounded again at Péronne, France in August 1918, this time more severely, leaving him permanently incapacitated with a deformity in his shoulder and restricted elbow and wrist movement.

He returned to Australia in February 1919 and was discharged from the AIF on 20 December 1920 with an address at 83 Park Street, Wayville. His discharge date was later than most as he returned to Australia medically unfit due to the gunshot wound, he had sustained.  Upon his return, he underwent treatment as an out-patient at No. 7 Australia General Hospital, Keswick. He had two brothers, William and Thomas, who also served in the war and returned home safely.

While this injury entitled Christie to a war pension for the rest of his life, he was not a man to be hindered by his disability. In October 1919, while undergoing medical treatment in Adelaide at the Repatriation Hospital, he married Jessie Sara Deacon and applied to the City of Unley Repatriation of Soldiers Committee who bid on his behalf to the Department of Repatriation for a loan of £35 to enable him to buy furniture for their home.[1] 

Christie, originally from Dumfriesshires, Fifeshire, Scotland, was a blacksmith and mechanic before his enlistment in the AIF. Post-war, he applied for evening classes in telephone fitting at the School of Mines and Industries at that time located in the Exhibition Building on North Terrace.[2] He thought this “would be a good preparatory course for the Electrical Engineering”.[3] In 1920, following a job application received from Christie, the firm Ellis and Clark Electrical Engineers of Franklin Street confirmed they would have a position available for Christie upon completion of his studies. In the following year, the Department of Repatriation interviewed the manager of Ellis Clark Electrical Engineers as Christie’s studies ended, however, the firm had their full number of trainees in proportion to Journey men employed and were unable to offer him employment.[4] He was then accepted into the engineering course and was successful in his claims for assistance with fees and books for his studies.3  In February 1922, he was employed as an Electrical Mechanic, earning £4 2/4½ per week, at the Postmaster General’s Department in Adelaide and continued with his evening studies in engineering.  There is no further information in Christies file to suggest he worked anywhere else until his retirement.

In the early 1960s, Christie suffered increased pain in his shoulder and left arm and underwent another major operation in 1966. During this period, he also put in a request for assistance to purchase a motor car under repatriation sale tax exemptions and was successful. He and his family lived at Tutt Avenue, Kingwood before moving to Pomona Road, Stirling where he remained until he was widowed in 1978.  Christie then moved to Leslie Avenue, Blair Athol to be close to one of his two daughters. Christie moved next door to this daughter and on occasion used an intercom system between both houses. Another daughter lived in the Adelaide Hills, and a son resided on Kangaroo Island.   He remained independent as he had been all his life until his health declined in the late 1970s.  He then researched his living options and chose to stay at Resthaven Hostel for veterans at Bellevue Heights.  He passed away at the Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park in early January 1982. 

[1] Andrew Lonie Christie, Service No. 41, Repatriation File Series M11179/ 31882103, National Archives of Australia (NAA), Sydney.

[2] The University of Adelaide, School of Mines and Industries, accessed on 21 January 2019, 3

[3] ‘Letter from Andrew Christie to the Department of Repatriation in 1922,’ Andrew Lonie Christie, Service No. 41, Repatriation File Series M11179/ 31882103, National Archives of Australia (NAA), Sydney.

[4] Andrew Lonie Christie, Service No. 41, Repatriation File Series M11179/ 31882103, National Archives of Australia (NAA), Sydney.

Do you have stories or memories of Andrew Christie or other service-people associated with the Adelaide Hills?

Contact us at or drop into the History Centre at the Coventry Library, 63 Mount Barker Road, Stirling.