L/Cpl
William Whitehouse Blair

Information about birth

Date of birth:
27/06/1875
Place of birth:
Taieri, Otago, New Zealand

General information

Profession:
Storeman

Army information

Country:
New Zealand
Force:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Service number:
15865
Enlistment date:
06/04/1916
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
Units:
 —  New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 3rd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
24/11/1917
Place of death:
Reutel, Beselare, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
42

Cemetery

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

William Whitehouse Blair was born in 1875 in Taieri, Otago, New Zealand. He was the son of Robert and Ann Blair. William worked as a storeman, before he enlisted in April 1916.

William served in the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 3rd Battalion. He was appointed Lance Corporal in October 1917. After the Battle of Passchendaele, in the night of the 19th and 20th November 1917 the 2nd and 3rd Battalions relieved the 1st and 4th Battalions in the frontline at the hamlet of Reutel. The brigade’s headquarters were established in the old German tunnels beneath the Butte in Polygon Wood.

On the 20th of November headquarters were heavily shelled. German snipers were very troublesome and in the following days a sharpshooter battle ensued between the Germans and the New Zealanders. William Whitehouse Blair was killed on 24 November 1917. Two days before his Battalion was relieved from the line,. He was buried near the Butte. William, 42, was one of the 41 casualties of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade in November 1917.

Files 1

Sources 5

Auckland Cenotaph
https://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C1262?n=15865&w=World%20War%20I%2C%201914-1918&ordinal=0&from=%2Fwar-memorial%2Fonline-cenotaph%2Fsearch
Sources used
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/
Sources used
NZEF-Project
https://nzef.adfa.edu.au/
Sources used
The Long Long Trail
https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/
Sources used
W.S. Austin. The official history of the NZ Rifle Brigade East-Sussex: (The Earl of Liverpool's Own).The Naval & Military Press Ltd., 2007, pp 251-255.
Sources used