DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
9th Infantry Brigade
52nd Battalion - New Northern Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
RESIDENCE: Clinton – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: September 13, 1890
Goderich – Goderich Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: August 28, 1918 27 years 11 months
CEMETERY: Vis-en Artois British Cemetery – Vis-en Artois –
Pas de Calais – France
V J 9
PARENTS: Mr. James and Farmy Mair – Clinton – Ontario
Occupation: Accountant Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Clinton – December 16, 1915 into the 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 25 years 3 months
Lieutenant Mair arrived overseas in England on November 11, 1916.
On February 23rd, 1918, he transferred to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion and on April 12, 1918 he moved on to the 18th Battalion. Then on the same day he transferred to the 52nd Battalion. He went overseas into France and joined his unit on July 2, 1918.
Lieutenant Mair was killed in action whilst leading his platoon during an attack at Bois du Vert.
The weather was mostly dull with a few showers along with bright periods. Winds up to 20mph.
The Battalion was located at Chatham Cave and early in the morning it was learned that the 52nd Battalion would be the left assault Battalion against Artillery Hill and Boiry including the trenches in front.
The fighting of the previous had left the Battalion depleted with only 220 exhausted men available to advance. At 11:00 am they advanced with the support of a rolling artillery barrage with “B” Company, leading it pressing first – swing left to the east of Boiry. “C” Company was to follow the swing to the left and enter the centre of the town. What was left of “A” & “D” Companies became one Company and were to follow “B” & “C” Companies and swing left through the western edges of the town. Those orders were then changed and all companies were to press forward, south of Boiry on the left flank. They outflanked the enemy and were able to clear the town.
Now there were only 100 men in the four Companies but many were found later attached to other units.
The Battalion consolidated itself in Lady Lane south-west of Boiry with the artillery being given a barrage line
During August 27/28, the casualties were 25 killed, 136 were wounded, 17 went missing and 2 were gassed.
Lieutenant Mair was in command of “D” Company and he was positioned between “C” Company on their left and the Arras Road. At 4:55 am the barrage opened up and began falling onto the enemy positions and at 7:00 am the report came in stating that the right flank was in danger. This was “D” Company and they had suffered badly and during this advance was when Lieutenant Mair lost his life leading his men forward. By this time the Company numbered 35 men.
This Battalion was awarded 17 battle honours while it served in the field.