Robert Curwen R Blair

Robert Curwen R Blair

Birth 17 January 1879 Death 21st Jul 1916 2nd Ltn.
Border Regiment

Personal Details

Place of Birth Whitehaven
Residence at Enlistment
Residence (Roll of Honour) Richmond Hill, Whitehaven
Residence 1911 Census 5 Hamilton Terrace ,Whitehaven
School(s) Attended St Bees
Religion/Church Attended C of E
Organisation Membership
Employment/Trade Mining Engineer
Place of Work
Family (Parents and Grandparents) John & Nina Blair
Siblings Henrietta Richmond Blair , Mabel Frances Curwen Richmond
Wife's Name and Maiden Name Nina Richmond Blair
Remarriage of Widow
Children's Christian Name(s)
Family Connection to Roll of Honour


Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
The 1914 Star
The 1914 Star
The Victory Medal
The Victory Medal
The British War Medal, 1914-18
The British War Medal, 1914-18

Military Details

Regiment at Enlistment Border Regiment
Battalion at Enlistment 5th
Rank at Enlistment 2nd Ltn.
Naval Vessels Served
Service Number at Enlistment
Date of Enlistment 26 June 1908
Place of Enlistment Workington
Other Regiment
Other Battalion
Other Rank
Date of Transfer to other Regiment
Service Facts Capt Blair’s connection with the Armed Forces had begun two years before the Wellington disaster, when he was commissioned on June 26 1908,as a Second Lieutenant into the 5th Battalion of the Border Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1909.

At 6pm on August 4 1914, the order to mobilise was received at the headquarters of the 5th Battalion at Workington. The following evening the Battalion left for its war station at Barrow and sailed for France on the SS Manchester Engineer on October 26, 1914. It had 30 officers and 878 non-commissioned officers and men and amongst the eight captains was Capt Blair who commanded ‘A’ Company.
Citation for the award of the DSO Known at: 27th September 1915 Gazette 29344, 29/10/1915, p.10729 For conspicuous gallantry on the night of 27th September 1915 at Armentieres. He went out with a party of ten to bomb the enemy's trenches. Finding conditions unfavourable the party lay down and waited about 50 yards from the enemy's wire. Soon afterwards a party of 14 Germans were seen advancing towards them. Captain Blair held his fire until they were 10 yards away when he shot four of them with his revolver. His party accounted for all the remainder except two and returned unscathed. Captain Blair has constantly taken part in arduous and enterprising night work.
The ceremonial sword awarded to Captain Blair was in recognition of his having been awarded the Distinguished Service Order) for conspicuous gallantry at Armentieres on September 27, 1915.
Battalion Diary or Nautical Facts In July 1916, the 5th Battalion Borders , War Diary goes on to relate how Capt Blair met his end:

“5th July 1916: During night of 4th-5th, officers patrol went out... and reported no sign of enemy patrols, but sounds of work indicated great activity in the repair of the enemy trenches. Enemy snipers have shown more activity yesterday and today using dummies and devices for attracting attention, then firing persistently at our periscopes... Transport shelled at Vierstraat at 11.30pm (no casualties.)

“21st July 1916: Machine gun and rifle fire again persistent. A patrol under Captain R.C.R. BLAIR, DSO, went out from (point) D.5. and reach [sic] the German wire, but they could find no Gap.

“They returned about 1.45am owing to bright moonlight fearing that it would expose the patrol. Going out a few minutes later to point out a spot where some small repairs to our own wire could be made in a very little time, CAPT BLAIR was hit by a bullet and died two hours later without regaining consciousness. The loss of such a gallant officer is keenly felt throughout the battalion.”

Death and Memorial Details

Age at Death 37
Date of Death 21st Jul 1916
Regiment at Death Border Regiment
Battalion/Vessel at Death 5th
Rank at Death Cpt.
Circumstances of Death Killed in Action
Service Number at Death
Field of Action at Death France
Place of Death Somme
Battle at Death
Grave/Memorial Image Robert Curwen R Blair
Grave Position I. G. 19.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Link,-robert-curwen-richmond/
Grave/Memorial Country France
Private Memorial St Johns War memorial


Notes By profession Bertie Blair was a mining engineer and assistant mine manager. He was one of the men awarded the Edward Medal for the rescue attempt following the Wellington Pit explosion at Whitehaven in May 1910. He was also a Territorial Army officer, serving in the 5th Battalion, Border Regiment.

Robert CR Blair in 1906 joined Masonic Lodge : Sun Square & Compasses
Lodge Location: Whitehaven

Lodge Number: 119
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