Altrincham WW1 - Surnames starting with the letter B. 

John Septimus Mee Blair

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:15th Div. M.T.
Name of Rgt or Ship:Army Service Corps
How Died:Accidental
Country of burial:FranceGrave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Wanquetin Communal Cemetery Extension
Town Memorial:Stretford
Extra Information:
Born during the March quarter 1891 in the Altrincham R.D. - ref: 8a/165,
the son of James Mee & Elizabeth Blair (nee Barlow).

1891 Census - 125 Northenden Road, Sale.  Son aged: 4 months - born: Sale. 
  Head of household - Esther Barlow (maternal grand-mother) - Widow - aged:
52 - occ: Stationer - born: St. Helens, Lancashire.    Also - Elizabeth
Blair - Daughter - Married - aged: 20 - occ: Stationer Assistant - born:
Manchester.    Plus John's 13 year old uncle and an Irish domestic servant
- Nurse Girl.

His father - James Mee Blair was residing with his parents at 10 Old Hall
Road, Sale.     Son - Married - aged: 18 - occ: Salesman - born: Baguley. 
James' father was a Farmer.

1901 Census - Mersey Road, Ashton Upon Mersey.    Son - aged: 10 - born:
Sale.    Head of household - James M. Blair - Married - aged: 29 - occ:
Hardware Salesman - born: Baguley.    Also - Elizabeth Blair - Wife - aged:
29 - born: Old Trafford.    Plus - 1 younger sister, a Boarder and a
domestic servant.

Attended Worthington Road School, Sale Moor.

1911 Census - 4 Arnside Grove, Ashton on Mersey.    Son - aged: 20 - occ:
Chauffeur Domestic - born: Sale.   Head of household - James Mee. Blair -
Married - aged: 38 - occ: Commercial Traveller - born: Baguley.    Also -
Elizabeth Blair - Wife - aged: 38 - born: Old Trafford.    Plus - 1 younger
sister and a Boarder.

Employed since 1912 as a Traveller for Messrs. Leo Swain & Co, Deansgate,
Manchester, Wholesale Rubber and Motor Accessory Factors, Agents and Tyre
Specialists, Deansgate, Manchester.

Married Emma Price at St. Matthew's P.C. on the 12th June 1915, during the
June quarter 1915 in the Barton upon Irwell R.D. - ref: 8c/1546.

WO363 - Attested from 27 Watson Street, Stretford on the 11th December
1915, aged: 25 years, employed as a Commercial Traveller for Motor
Accessories.   Mobilised on the 7th April 1916 and into the Motor Transport
Section, Grove Park, Lewisham, London.  (As an accomplished driver, he
would have been much sought after by the MTS, Army Service Corps).  
Height: 5 feet 8 inches - Expanded chest: 37 inches with a 4 inch expansion
- Complexion: Fresh - Eyes: Blue - Hair: Black..   Emma was granted a
separation allowance of 12/6d - allotment of pay, 7/-, they had no
children.   Embarked on the S.S. "Lydia" at Southampton for France on the
23rd April 1916, arriving at Rouen on the 24th..   Contracted German
Measles at Rouen on the 17th April 1916 - back to duty on the 10th May.  
Posted to the 15th Division Ammunition Park on the 20th May 1916.  
Admitted to 111 F.A. on the 19th July 1916 suffering from Calculas in
Ureter (kidney stones) - returned to duty on the 21st.    Admitted to the
4th London F.A. on the 29th July 1916 suffering from Diarrhoea. Admitted
with it again on the 1st September and discharged back to duty on the 14th
September 1916.  Granted leave from the 18th to the 28th September 1916. 
Awarded his first Good Conduct Badge on the 11th November 1917.  

Accidentally killed in the field with the 15th Division.   A court of
Enquiry assembled on the 29th May 1918 by Order of H.Q. XVII Corps.  A
witness to the accident - Private R.J. Mathieson, stated that he was
driving Lt. Colonel Bell, S.M.T.O. (Short Mechanical Transport Officer),
Canadian Corps, in a Cadillac car No. 24977 on the night of the 21st May
1918.  They were travelling west along the Arras-St. Pol Road from
Maroeuil.   Just after he passed the village of Haute-Avesnes he noticed an
ambulance travelling in th opposite direction at about 35 - 40 m.p.h.
leaving considerable dust behind it.   He stated that he sounded his horn
several times to warn the driver of his approach as the ambulance was
travelling in the centre of the road.    Immediately after passing the
ambulance a Dispatch Rider darted out from the dust directly in front of
him.  He blew his horn and swung the car to the right to try to avoid
htting him.   The D.R. struck the front left mudguard throwing him onto the
rear left mudguard and he was killed instantly.   He said that he was
driving at around 15 - 20 m.p.h. and stopped about 15 paces further along
the road.   It was a bright moonlit night and all the vehicles involved
were driving without lights.    They moved the body to the side of the road
and Colonel Bell stayed with the body and he drove back to the 3rd Canadian
Field Ambulance to get them to collect the body.  After the body had been
collected he drove Lt. Colonel Bell to the No. 1 Canadian Divisional M.T.

Lt. Colonel Bell in his statement said that the ambulance was travelling at
excess speed and occupying the right hand side of the road.   As they were
passing the ambulance, a D.R. suddenly appeared out of the dust.  He
estimated that the D.R. was travelling at about 40 m.p.h. and had he turned
a foot to his right, the accident would have been avoided as there was room
between the ambulance and his car for the motorcycle to pass.

John Blair's superior - Sergeant J.W. Burrows, stated that just before
23.00 hrs he detailed Private Blair take an M.T. Detail to the 2nd
Divisional M.T. Company on the Arras-St. Pol Road, near to Caberet Blanc.  
He did not hear from him again, but later found out that Private Blair had
delivered the message.   The ambulance was never traced.

Death reported in the 31st May 1918 edition of the Altrincham Guardian

MIC - Awarded the BWM & VM.

Memorials found on:
St. Matthew's (Stretford)
Stretford Borough Memorial Book
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