No. 11/959, Wellington Mounted Rifles, NZEF
Died of disease on Sunday 3 October 1915 (aged 21)
Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta (Grave B XVII 3)
Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church Belfast
Hugh Adair was born on 11 October 1893 in the townland of Ballyvernon and he was the youngest son of Hugh and Mary Jane Adair (nee Kelly) who were married on 28 October 1887 in First Holywood Presbyterian Church. Hugh Adair was a farmer from Springhill, Bangor and he was a son of Hugh Adair, a farmer. Mary Jane Kelly from Bangor was a daughter of David Kelly, a cabinet maker.
Hugh and Mary Jane Adair lived at Springhill, Bangor where the Adair family had farmed for many generations.
Hugh and Mary Adair (nee Kelly) had at least four children:
Henry (Harry, born 22 January 1888 at Springhill, Ballyvernon; later moved to Perak in the Federated Malay States)
William Thomas (Willie, born 3 September 1889 in Ballyvernon)
Rebecca Kelly (Ruby, born 26 September 1891 at Springhill, Ballyvernon; married Captain R H Clay, lived in Coolbeg, Ashford, Middlesex)
Hugh (born 11 October 1893 in Ballyvernon)
By 1901 Mary Jane Adair was widowed and living at 14 Southwell Street, Bangor.
Hugh Adair moved to New Zealand about two years before the outbreak of the First World War and was working as a Station Hand for George Withers in Makauri, Gisborne, North Island when he enlisted on 27 December 1914 at Trentham Military Camp. It was recorded that he was 5 feet 8¾ inches tall with a brown complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He served with the 9th Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles.
Trooper Adair left New Zealand in February 1915, arriving in Egypt in March 1915 and, in August 1915, his unit was located at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
He was wounded in action and transferred to a hospital in Malta on 10 September 1915 suffering from gastritis. He was 21 when he died of enteric fever on 3 October 1915 and was buried in Pieta Military Cemetery.
Unlike most military gravestones in Malta, which lie canted and contain three names, Hugh Adair has a personal memorial that was erected by his Aunt, his sister and his brothers.
Hugh’s only sister Ruby was one of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) nurses working at Army Headquarters in Alexandria Egypt.
Trooper Hugh Adair is commemorated in Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church Belfast.