Capt Cristopher Durrant killed in action, 1918

In the last week of July 1918 Captain Christopher Martin Durrant was killed in action in German East Africa, aged 33. He was the son in law of the Reverend U.J. and Mrs. Easson, of Chicheley Vicarage, where his widow was resident. Formerly serving in the Royal Marine Artillery, for some while he had been in German East Africa, having command of a Stokes’ howitzer battery attached to the Rhodesia Native Regiment. (Nyasaland Field Force.) This was operating with the 2nd Cape Corps, under General Northey, and whilst in action with the battery he was instantly killed when a premature explosion occurred in one of the howitzers. 

(In a full choral service, it had been at St. Lawrence Church, Chicheley, that on the afternoon of Thursday, May 4th 1911 Margaret Ellen Utten Easson married Lieutenant Christopher Martin Durrant, of the Royal Marine Artillery, the son of the Reverend Charles Aubrey and Mrs. Durrant of Wetherby Vicarage, Yorkshire. Sent by Captain and Mrs. Farrar, the flowers and hot house plants decorating the chancel had been arranged by Mr. R Tompkins, and his fellow workers at the gardens of Chicheley Hall, and an additional colourful aspect were the full uniforms of the groom’s brother officers. With the bride’s sisters, Una and Katherine, in attendance, the ceremony took place in perfect weather, and many people had come to watch. Then after the service, under the instruction of Mrs. Garrett the twenty children who lined the approach strewed daisies at the feet of the couple as they left the church. As for the wedding of Miss Katherine M. Utten Easson, the youngest daughter of the Reverend U.J. Easson, she would marry Major Douglas Granville Sharp at All Saints, Margaret Street, London on Tuesday, July 20th 1920. Her sister, Una, would be one of the bridesmaids, and she was given away by her eldest brother, Alastair. Yet there would be tragedy in June 1943, when the couple’s eldest son, 21 year old Lieutenant Ian Granville Sharp, of the Royal Marines, was killed in action. At Chicheley Church, at Evensong on Sunday, October 5th 1952 a tablet would be unveiled to his memory.)