Private John Blair


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was probably from Belfast.

John Blair enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 1 September 1914 (No.1078). On 13 April 1915 he embarked for France, where he was posted to A or C Squadron – probably the latter.

In May and June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, and A, D and E Squadrons combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units. In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the infantry. Like most, Blair joined the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41517.

At some point in late 1917 or during 1918 he was attached to the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

Blair was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 11 March 1919.