|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.”
|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|
|Location of Grave/Memorial||DRANOUTRE MILITARY CEMETERY|
|Grave Position||I. G. 19.|
|Commonwealth War Graves Commission Link||https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/453426/blair,-robert-curwen-richmond/|
|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