1. Memorial:Staglieno Cemetery Genoa
2. Memorial:Freemasons VC Memorial Great Queen Street
3. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.129
4. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour8A GQS
5. Book:Beyond The Five PointsPgs 196-197

Awards & Titles:

Victoria Cross

Family :

Son of George Burgh McNair and Isabella Frederica McNair, of 5, Harrington St., Calcutta.

Education & Career :


Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: Royal Sussex Regiment 

Action : Italy (1914-1918) 

Following the collapse of the Italian Front in late 1917 a number of British Divisions were sent to Italy to support and stabilise the Italian effort. In March 1918, XIV Corps (the 7th, 23rd and 48th Divisions) relieved Italian troops on the front line between Asiago and Canove, the front being held by two divisions with one division in reserve on the plain. The French held the line to the left, with the Italians to the right.

The front was comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago (15-16 June 1918). The Allied line was penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established. Between June and September, frequent successful raids were made on the Austrian trenches.

In October, the 7th and 23rd Divisions were sent to the Treviso area of the River Piave front. The 48th Division, which remained in the mountains as part of the Italian Sixth Army, played an important part in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto (24 October-4 November 1918) in which the Austrians were finally defeated. By late 1918 the danger had passed and many of the British troops returned to the Western Front.

Detail :

Captain. Born 16th June 1894, 2nd son of George Burgh McNair, solicitor, and Isabella Frederica McNair, of 5, Harrington St., Calcutta. He was at Charterhouse 1907 - 1913. He was Head Monitor. He won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. In the Great War he was commissioned into the Royal Sussex Regiment and joined 9th Bn. For most conspicuous bravery in an action at Hooge on 14th February 1916 he was awarded the V.C. The London Gazette No. 29527, of 28th March, 1916, records:

"When the enemy exploded a mine, Lieutenant McNair and many men of two platoons were hoisted into the air, and many men were buried. But, though much shaken, he at once organised a party with a machine gun to man the near edge of the crater and opened rapid fire on a large party of the enemy, who were advancing. The enemy were driven back, leaving many dead. Lieutenant McNair then ran back for reinforcements, and sent to another unit for bombs, ammunition and tools to replace those buried. The communication trench being blocked he went across the open under heavy fire and led up the reinforcements the same way. His prompt and plucky action and example undoubtedly saved the situation."

He was promoted Captain. In August that year he was severely wounded at the Battle of the Somme. His wounds precluded a return to active service but through the influence of Edward, Prince of Wales, whom he had come to know as a fellow-undergraduate at Oxford, on his partial recovery he was appointed to the General Staff and was later attd. G.H.Q. in Italy. He developed chronic dysentery and died in hospital at Genoa on 12th August 1918. His grave is at Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Reference: I. B. 32. By one of the War's many ironies, McNair's opposite number as deputy head monitor in 1913 was a Southern Irish boy who remained a non-combatant throughout. SENIOR DEACON

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Apollo University No. 357 E.C.Oxfordshire

25th November 1913
27th January 1914
26th February 1914

Senior Deacon

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-11-28 15:33:45