The final installment in our 'Holgate Heroes' series.

Christian James Stubbs

A REVEREND who served on the flagship of the home fleet may have found the horrors of war too much to handle.

Reverend Christian James Stubbs was born in Stairfoot in the third quarter of 1911 and was a well respected man throughout his life.

His keen theological mind was often noticed by those close to him, especially those he served in the Ardsley and Monk Bretton districts.

One of only 38 men from Ardsley Parish listed on a memorial in Christ Church, he enlisted to the Royal Navy six months before the war to serve as a chaplain.

He served aboard multiple ships including the HMS Ramillies and the nominal flagship of the home fleet the HMS Victory, where he was beloved and would join troops in battle to help however he could.

It is believed that these battles are what caused his later ill health, as in the latter months of 1943 he was hospitalised due to delusions and depression.When discharged on December 18, 1944 he went missing for a month, before being found dead on the banks of the River Avon in Bristol.

An inquest ruled his death as a drowning, and while no official statement regarding suicide was made, it is believed by some that his poor mental health took it’s toll.

His obituary in the Barnsley Chronicle on January 29 1944 reads: “The Rev C.J. Stubbs, who was 32, had outstanding theological gifts, was a young man with fine human qualities and his attributes made him friends wherever he went.“There is a deep sense of tragedy in the fact that what abundantly promised to be a fruitful career in spirituality and citizenship should be so prematurely ended.”

He was buried with full naval honours in the war graves at Bristol’s Arnos Vale Cemetery.

You can read the introductory article explaining the history around our Holgate Heroes here