John Hastings Blair
Corporal Blair’s name appears on the the Haltonville Cenotaph.
Corporal Blair is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Guelph, Ontario (Blk. E. Sec. 12. 35). For reasons unknown, he does not have a standard CEF gravestone. The CWGC has been so advised.
Milton Soldiers in the Guelph Woodlawn Cemetery (Google Earth).
Corporal Blair was born in Campbellville, Ontario which is in the Town of Milton. Regional Municipality of Halton. His parents home, as well as his grave site where we took the photograph is located in Guelph, Ontario. The Haltonville Memorial is somewhat in between Milton and Guelph – as it would have been back in 1920.
Corporal Blair’s Attestation Papers show he attested with the #3 McGill University Company of the PPCLI, as also noted on his grave stone. It appears this was completed after he arrived in England. He was in and out of the hospital and at one time was taken on strength to the 7th Trench Mortar Battery, after he was promoted to Corporal (October 1917).
The P.P.C.L.I. was in the Red Trench at La Coulotte near the Lens-Arras Road in April 1918. The winter of 1918 had been relatively quiet for the Canadians, but as Nicholson reports, there were 3,552 casualties of which 694 were fatal. Corporal Blair was wounded (SW left elbow) and then further injured in a traffic accident in the ambulance on April 22, 1918. The situation was reported quiet that day, but 2 were killed and 4 wounded the night of April 21, 1918. With influenza and the face wounds from the accident, he was sent home to recover in Canada in July 1919.
It appears that Corporal Blair had always been plagued with Bronchitis and after suffering from gas exposure, complicated with the injury to his jaw, he never recovered. He died on March 16, 1920 in Canada.