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Christopher Armstrong, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Fusiliers; attd. Loyal N. Lancs

Christopher Armstrong came up to Jesus College, in 1907 from St Lawrence School in Ramsgate.

Born: Chesterfield, Derbyshire on10 October 1888

Fell in action: 9 April 1916

C. ArmstrongA fine athlete

Armstrong is well documented in early editions of the Jesus College Society Annual Report and the student magazine Chanticlere as he was a fine athlete.

We were also very lucky to receive his story from Mrs Ruth Anderson, one of his great nieces. This includes copies of letters from Armstrong to his family as well as photographs. Within the papers Mrs Anderson sent are some photographs of medals that were awarded to Armstrong for his athletic achievements.

We can fill in some further details about this. He won his blue for running the quarter mile but he also ran in the 100 yards, threw the hammer and the weight, and jumped the long jump.

Indeed in the annual meet against Trinity College, Oxford in February 1909 Armstrong came second to another Jesuan, H. Banister, but ahead of a 1908 Olympic Athlete N. G. Chavasse.

At the College Sports meeting held in early December 1908, Armstrong recorded the following results:

100 Yards: 1st, 10⅘ seconds (for which he was awarded the Langton Victor Ludorum Medal)

Half-Mile Handicap, (Armstrong at scratch): 1st, 2mins 8⅘secs

Weight (shot put): 1st, 30ft 2in.

Quarter Mile: 1st, 53⅕sec

Hammer: 1st, 72ft 3in.

In the following year he also took part in the mile race and the long jump:

One Mile: Joint 1st (with A F Thorpe), 5min 11sec

Long Jump: 1st, 21ft 2½in.

At this meet he also improved his own Weight and Hammer records.

Reported missing

Unfortunately the Annual Report did not produce an obituary for Armstrong, possibly as he was originally recorded as “missing” and that there was "some slight hope" that he may have survived. Mrs Anderson’s profile of him provides some details in his post university life.

After leaving College Armstrong worked in the family brewing business and then enlisted in 1914 into the 23rd (Service) battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, which was known as the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion.

He was killed in action near Kut al Amara (Iraq) when leading his platoon into some “vacant Turkish trenches” which turned out to be an ambush.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War

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