Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private James Adair

 

 

Adair 1

 

This North Irish Horseman seems to have been the James Adair born on 21 June 1884 at Fountain Street, Antrim, one of at least four children of railway labourer and platelayer James Adair and his wife Annie (formerly Martin). His mother died when James was just five years old and two years later his father remarried – to Mary Richardson of Antrim – the couple having six children over the next fourteen years.

Adair enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 29 or 30 November 1915 (No.1991 – later Corps of Hussars No.71659). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In October or November 1918 he contracted influenza and was evacuated to a military hospital at Rouen. The condition worsened to pneumonia and he died there on 14 November 1918.

In December 1918 the Northern Whig newspaper reported that:

Mr. James Adair, 235, Oldpark Road, Belfast, has been officially notified that his second son, Trooper James Adair, North Irish Horse, died at Rouen from pneumonia following influenza, on 14th November. Deceased had over three years' service. Prior to enlistment he was a collector for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Mr. Adair was employed by the Midland Railway Company of England as a plate-layer, constructing a railway, and was in France about six months last year.

Private Adair was buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France, grave S.III.AA.21. His gravestone inscription reads:

H/71659 PRIVATE
J. ADAIR
NORTH IRISH HORSE
14TH NOVEMBER 1918

 

Adair 2

 

Gravestone images kindly provided by ponte fractus, Great War Forum. Newspaper image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).