Kertland, Edwin Blow

Kertland, Edwin Blow (Edwin)

Mentioned in Despatches

Second Lieutenant

3rd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers attached

2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Friday 16 June 1915 (aged 19)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 42)

Campbell College

Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI)

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Belfast City Cemetery


In some records, his surname is spelt Kirtland.

Edwin Blow Kertland (known as Edwin) was born on 29 January 1896 and he was the eldest son of Edwin Happer Kertland and Martha (Meta) Blow Kertland (nee Blow) who were married on 11 October 1893 in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Edwin Happer Kertland, a manufacturer, from Malone House, Belfast was a son of William Kertland, a Presbyterian minister.  Martha Blow of Mount Pleasant, Belfast was a daughter of James Blow, a merchant.

Born in Waterford City, Edwin Kertland Senior was a damask factory manager and in 1901 the Kertland family lived at 9 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast.

Edwin and Meta Kertland had four children:

Edwin Blow (born 29 January 1896 in Malone Upper, Shankhill, Co Antrim)

Anna Blow (born 23 September 1898 at 9 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast; died 9 November 1977)

Mary Patricia Happer (born 27 May 1902 at 9 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast)

Jessie Denise Graham (born 24 March 1908 at 42 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast, six months after her father died)

Edwin Kertland Senior died on 12 September 1907 (aged 56) at 9 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast and he was buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave E 123).

After Edwin died, the Kertland family moved to 42 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast and they were living there in 1911.

At that time, Edwin Kertland Junior (aged 15) was a boarder at Campbell College (from 1909 until 1912) and he also attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI).

After leaving school, Edwin Blow Kertland lived at 8 Mount Pleasant, Belfast.  He worked as an apprentice manager in the linen trade and was a member of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.  He was a member of the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) from 1912 to 1914 and he enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.  He was gazetted Second Lieutenant in August 1914 and it is on record that he was ill with pleurisy in the early part of 1915.

It is recorded in school and QUB records (although not in the CWGC Debt of Honour website) that he was Mentioned in Despatches.

The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 and Second Lieutenant Edwin Blow Kertland was 19 when he was killed in action on 16 June 1915 during the attack on Bellewaerde.  It was reported that the Battalion was subjected to intense artillery bombardment from early morning to nightfall, and it made repeated attacks on the German lines. By the end of the day more than 20 officers and some 300 other ranks in the Battalion were killed, missing or wounded.

A report dated 3 August 1915 from Rifleman Arthur McConville (No. 6688), ‘C’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles stated, ‘Lieutenant Kertland was hit by machine gun fire and fell – he must have been mortally wounded as I lay beside him for seven minutes and he did not move’.

Initially reported as missing in action, it was officially confirmed in December 1915 that Second Lieutenant Edwin Blow Kertland must be presumed to have been killed in action.

Second Lieutenant Edwin Blow Kertland has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.  The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient (from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south).  The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.

Second Lieutenant Edwin Blow Kertland is commemorated on the War Memorial Plaques in Campbell College and RBAI; on the QUB War Memorial and in the QUB Book of Remembrance (Page 30); in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 319) and on the Memorial Plaque in the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club at Cultra.

When Edwin Kertland died his mother, Meta, was living at Dunnimarle, Knockdene Park, Belfast and she died on 27 August 1941 (aged 73).  She was buried in the same grave as her husband, as were Edwin Blow (her brother) who died on 7 April 1945 (aged 78) and Anna Blow Kertland (her daughter) who died on 9 November 1977 (aged 79).