Blair, John Kirkwood (No. 17275)

Blair, John Kirkwood (John)

Lance Corporal

No. 17275, 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 22)


New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium (Grave V. D. 1)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


John Kirkwood Blair was born on 9 September 1894 in Sunnyside, Holywood and he was the eldest son of Hugh Alexander Blair and Elise Elsie Blair (nee Macartney, sometimes McCartney) who were married on 28 February 1893 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Hugh Alexander Blair who was born in County Tyrone was a widower from Holywood and he was a son of McCrea Blair, a gentleman.  Elise Macartney from Holywood was a daughter of William Macartney, a butler.

The Blair family lived at 8 Esplanade, Holywood before moving to Belfast where they lived in Delhi Street and then at 57 Candahar Street, Ormeau Road.

Hugh Blair was a commercial traveller (wine and spirits) and he and Elise had five children:

John Kirkwood (born 9 September 1894 in Sunnyside, Holywood)

Hugh McCartney (born 18 January 1896 in Kinnegar, Holywood)

Margaret (born 8 March 1897 in Kinnegar, Holywood)

Elise Noel (born 28 December 1901 at 8 Esplanade, Kinnegar, Holywood)

Robert Anderson (born 22 October 1904 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

The children were baptised in First Holywood Presbyterian Church.

Hugh Alexander Blair had previously been married to Mary Carson

Hugh Alexander Blair and Mary Carson were married on 3 April 1879 in St John’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.

Hugh Alexander Blair and Mary Blair (nee Carson) had at least four children:

Frederick William (born 2 January 1880 at 2 Castlereagh Street, Belfast)

McCrea (born 16 June 1882 at 237 Newtownards Road, Belfast)

Norah Eveline (born 1 August 1885 at 17 Frank Street, Belfast)

George (born around 1891)

After leaving school John Kirkwood Blair worked as an apprentice in the grocery business.

During the First World War Lance Corporal John Kirkwood Blair (No. 17275) served with the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 109th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 22 when he was killed in action on 16 August 1917, the first day of the Battle of Langemarck.

Lance Corporal John Kirkwood Blair (No. 17275) was buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium and he is commemorated in the Belfast Book of Honour.