McNair, Robert (No. 18350)

McNair, Robert


No. 18350, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Friday 1 September 1916 (aged 21)


Ration Farm (La Plus Douve) Annexe, Belgium (Grave III. B. 10)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Conlig Orange Hall

First Bangor Presbyterian Church


In some records his surname is spelt McNare, in others MaNeer, in others Maneer, in others Minair and in others Menair.

Robert McNair was born on 26 September 1894 in the townland of Ballyree and he was a son of Martha McNair who was working as a housekeeper when Robert was born.

Martha McNair herself was born on 6 December 1877 in Ballyree and she was a daughter of Alexander and Ann (Annie) McNair (nee Cook, sometimes Cooke) who were married on 16 May 1876 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  Alexander McNair, a labourer from Bangor, was a son of William McNair, a labourer.  Annie McNair (nee Cook, sometimes Cooke) from Ballyree was a daughter of Thomas Cook, a labourer.

Annie Cooke had at least three other children:

Alexander Minair Cooke (born 30 April 1865 in Ballyree)

Agnes Mulholland Cooke (born 15 September 1868 in Ballyree)

Martha Maneer (born 18 November 1873 in Ballyree; died 13 October 1874)

Agnes Mulholland Cooke Maneer and James Gamble were married on 23 September 1887 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  James Gamble, a minor and a labourer from Conlig was a son of James Gamble, a grocer.  Agnes Maneer, a minor from Ballyree was a daughter of Alexander Maneer, a labourer.  James and Agnes Gamble had at least two children, both of whom were baptised in Conlig Presbyterian Church – Alexander Gamble (born 24 August 1888 in Conlig) and Martha Gamble (born 20 July 1890 in Conlig).

In 1901 Robert McNair and his mother, Martha McNair, were living in Ballyree with Martha’s parents, Alexander and Annie McNair.

Martha McNair and Thomas Connolly (sometimes Conally, sometimes Conolly) were married on 15 August 1902 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Martha McNair from Primacy, Bangor was a daughter of Alexander McNair.  Thomas Connolly, a labourer from Ballymagee, Bangor was a son of Hamilton Connolly, a labourer.  Agnes and James Gamble were the witnesses at their wedding.

The Connolly family lived in the townland of Ballyree.

Robert McNair’s mother Martha and his stepfather Thomas Connolly had five children, all of whom were baptised in First Bangor Presbyterian Church:

Annie Sophia (born 10 May 1903 in Ballyree)

Agnes Jane (born 12 December 1905 in Ballyree)

Mary Elizabeth (born 27 August 1910 in Ballyree)

James Alexander (born 16 September 1914 in Ballyree)

Robert McNair (born 17 October 1916 in Ballyree; Robert McNair Connolly was named after his half-brother, Rifleman Robert McNair (No. 18350) who had been killed in action some seven weeks earlier)

The Connolly family lived in Ballyree and in 1911 Robert McNair and his step-father, Thomas Connolly, were both working as general labourers.

Robert McNair enlisted in Bangor, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 21 when he was killed in action at Curry Avenue, Messines on 1 September 1916.

Rifleman Robert McNair (No. 18350) was buried in Ration Farm (La Plus Douve) Annexe, Belgium and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

Until The Day Break

Rifleman Robert McNair (No. 18350) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum; in Conlig Orange Hall and in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.