J. I. Chrystall
John Inglis Chrystall (Dip. Agric., C.A.C., 1906-07).
J. I. Chrystall, who was born in Christchurch in 1887 received his secondary education at Christ's College and took the Diploma at Canterbury Agricultural College in 1906-07, died on June 80, 1960 at Quebec. He was on his way back to England then, after having spent a visit in New Zealand with his daughter. In May of this year he attended the College functions on Diploma Day and he had been on a visit to the College in 1967. On that occasion he came after a 60-year absence with his friend and contemporary, G. W. R. Osborne. He did not spend much of his life in farming but he often said how much he treasured his life and experience at Lincoln.
In 1912 he enlisted in the ranks of the 7th Queen's Own Hussars and after two years' service in India, he was commissioned to the 18th Hussars. Towards the end of a military career that was distinguished and which had an element of romance, he had attained the rank of acting-Major-General. This career took him through World War I., to service in France and Mesopotamia and participation in the Iraq rebellion, and as an acting-Major-General, in command of the Cairo area during the Second World War.
Seconded to the Machine Gun Corps from 1916 to 1920, Brigadier Chrystall commanded the 16th Machine Gun Squadron for three years during this period. A general staff officer of operations at the general headquarters of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force and staff officer of the cavalry, he also served with the Egyptian Army and the Sudan Defence Force from 1922 to 1929.
Promoted to Major of the 18-18th Hussars in 1930 and then as a local Lieutenant-Colonel in 1986, Brigadier ChrystalI commanded the Transjordan Frontier Force until 1940. From brevet Lieutenant-Colonel to a full Colonel by 1938, he commanded the 6th Cavalry Brigade during 1940-41. During his time in the Transjordan, Brigadier Chrystall figured prominently in some cabled reports of an incident in which great bravery was shown.
He was directing from an aeroplane an action against rebel Arab&-it was the first time that such an action had been directed by wireless telephone--when his pilot was shot in the back. With the pilot bleeding badly and a fear that he would collapse, Brigadier Chrystall refused to leave and land by parachute, and later the machine was landed and both survived.
In 1940-41 he was president of a commission of control to carry out the terms of a convention which ended hostilities between the British and Free French Forces (the Allies) and French Vichy Forces in Syria and the Lebanon.
In 1941, as an acting-Major-General, Brigadier Chrystall commanded the Cairo area until the end of hostilities, when he retired to live in England.
In World War I. he was awarded the Military Cross. Over his service career he was also honoured with the awards of Order of Merit (U.S.A.); Commander of the Order of the British Empire; ten service medals and he was mentioned in dispatches eight times.
Those who knew John Chrystall as a soldier and as a citizen said of him that he was admirable In every way; he was so straight and fair. He did a tremendous amount of good for others in his sphere and in all things only the best was good enough.
In retirement be lived in Hampshire, England; his wife died there in 1950; one daughter continues to live there and his other daughter, Mrs R. Deans, lives at Ampfield, Ngaruwahia, Waikato. (Source: 1960 Canterbury Agricultural College Magazine, p58-60).Date of Birth1887Date of Death30 June 1960In MemoriamObituarySourceBrigadier John Inglis ChrystallMilitary RankMajor-General, 13th Hussars - Military CrossExternal LinkCenotaph Database