6th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment),

Born Saturday 24 February 1894     Died Friday 4 August 1916. Aged 22.

Son of William Hook and Mrs. Fanny Hook (née Slingsby) of Hobday Cottage, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent.

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 5 D and on the Boughton Aluph, Ashford, Kent civic war memorial as well as in The Buffs Book of Life in the Warriors Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral.

Christopher was born at Church Street, Aldington on Saturday 24 February 1894, and was one the of nine children. His father, Bonnington native, William Hook was employed as a Farm Waggoner. He was baptised at the parish church of St. Martin, Aldington on Sunday 1 April 1894, where his parents had married in 1881.

When Christopher enlisted in the army at Ashford, Kent on Friday 10 December 1915 ‘For the Duration of the War with the Colours, and in the Army Reserve’ he stated that he 21 years and 289 days old, employed as a Labourer, and that his home address was at Hobday Cottage, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent, which was also that of his father who was his next of kin. Having passed his army medical, Christopher was posted to the 9th (Reserve) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) at Shoreham, Sussex on Monday 24 January 1916 to commence his basic army training. In early February 1916, Christopher was admitted as a patient to the sprawling 2nd Eastern General Hospital, Brighton, Sussex, which of wartime necessity occupied the Brighton Boys’ Grammar School, elementary schools and the Brighton Workhouse. Christopher was discharged from hospital on Monday 22 May 1916, and from Brighton he went back along the Sussex coast to Shoreham to complete his basic army training.

Following his training, Christopher was sent to serve in France, initially being posted to the 38 Infantry Base Depot at Étaples, Pas de Calais on Friday 14 July 1916, he remained at the 38 I.B.D. for almost a fortnight before being posted to serve in the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) on Thursday 27 July 1916 which he joined in the field.

On the evening of Thursday 3 August 1916 Christopher’s battalion prepared to take part in an attack during the fighting on the Pozières Ridge near the village of Thiepval on the Somme. The battalions’ objective being a trench system of strong points called “Ration Trench”, zero hour was set for 2315 hours, but just over two hours prior to the battalion going on the offensive, enemy artillery bombarded their trenches.  Fortunately some French gunners were quick of the mark and returned fire with gas shells which silenced the German artillery and doubtlessly saved the lives of some of the waiting Buffs. Eventually the attack was launched at the planned time, after successfully attacking, capturing and consolidating their gains following the action the battalion was relieved and retired to Martinsart Wood where a roll call was taken which revealed that the battalion had lost 4 officers and 114 other ranks in this action. Christopher was among the losses and , like many of those who lost their lives during the attack on the Pozières Ridge, has no known grave. All are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.