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Christopher Gerard Goschen

Captain Christopher Gerard Goschen, 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards

 

Grave

Christopher Goschen

Christopher Goschen is not commemorated on any of the town or village memorials in the area, his connection is not as a son of West Berkshire but as a member of a local family. His sister Kathleen was the wife of Geoffrey Gathorne-Hardy and lived at Donnington Priory. The couple decided they wanted a memory of Christopher and of Geoffrey's brother Alfred who died at the Battle of Loos.

 

The result was a pair of stained glass windows in St Mary's church, Shaw.

 

For the story of his life it would be difficult to beat his entry in the memorial book at the Stock Exchange in London: “CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER GERARD GOSCHEN, son of Henry Goschen of Addington, Surrey, was born in 1881 and educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1903. He was called to the Bar in 1905, but relinquished his work there after a few years to enter the Stock Exchange, of which he became a Member in the Spring of 191o. He joined the firm of Cohen, Laming, Goschen and Co. in that year and remained with them until the outbreak of war, when he obtained a commission in the Grenadier Guards and went to the Front shortly before Christmas, 1914. During the months that followed he took part in the fighting at Festubert and Neuve Chapelle and in some of the most arduous operations in the Ypres Salient and elsewhere. Soon after he was promoted to a captaincy in the 4th Battalion. He was twice wounded. On the second occasion he was so anxious to get back to the Front that he refused the sick leave that was offered to him. He rejoined his regiment on 24 September 1916 and was killed on the following day while leading his men in a very severe action during the battle of the Somme. His Commanding Officer wrote: “Chris's loss to the regiment is indeed a great one. He was loved by his brother officers and esteemed and respected by his men. He has done extremely well and I have rarely seen a man who took hold of the hearts of all with whom he was associated like he did. His place amongst us will not easily be filled.” A brother officer concludes a letter about him by saying “he was one of the best and truest of English gentlemen, was so straight and an example to the younger ones.”


The Face of Christopher Goschen?
The Face of Christopher Goschen?

 

The window in Shaw church depicts St Christopher carrying the infant Jesus across an ankle deep stream. Many memorial windows such as this use the face of the deceased; it is very possible that the face of St Christopher is indeed that of Christopher Goschen, indeed the infant Jesus may also show the face of an infant Christopher.

 

Christopher Goschen is also commemorated on the war memorial in Addington, near Croydon. The Addington memorial was unveiled by his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Goschen, DSO, on the 25th March 1922. He is also remembered on further memorials and rolls of honour at Eton School, Balliol College, Oxford, the London Stock Exchange, the Inner Temple, and at the church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe, Folkestone. His grave is in France, at the Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs, grave IX.A.3.

 

 

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 Died this day:
22 January 1916
J A Grigg
Newbury

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