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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Blair, Thomas James

Flight Sergeant Thomas James Blair
was born in Coleraine on 17th November 1886.  He was the son of John and Martha Blair.  In 1901 the family were living in house 7, Ballintagh, Drumcroon.  He was of Church of Ireland faith.
He joined Northern Bank on 15th January 1903 at Head Office.   Transfers followed with Bray (1903), Londonderry (1906), Head Office (1909), Ballymena (1910), Dungloe (1912) and Head Office (1912).  

Northern Banking Company Limited, Londonderry

Northern Banking Company, Ballymena

By 1911, Blair is boarding in house 9, Clonavon Terrace, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.  He is described as an Accountant, Northern Bank. 
Blair was based in Head office when he enlisted on 11th September 1915 as a Private into the Royal Air Force or Royal Naval Air Service aged 28.

He served with Coastal Defence; Defence of London; British Expeditionary Force and was later promoted to Flight Sergeant.  Blair saw action at Messines 1917 and Ypres 1917.  He was demobilised in January 1919 and was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 
Following demobilisation, Blair rejoined the Northern Bank on 10th February 1919 when he was transferred to Shaftesbury Square.  In 1921 he was transferred to Strokestown and served there during the period of the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. 
More transfers followed with Portadown (1928), Newry (1937) and Londonderry (1941).  He is recorded as applying for Dromore branch in 1923.  

He retired on 6th November 1946 and died on 25th June 1951 aged 64.

First published on 8th November 2012.