Neville Bernard Blackwell


Isaac Blackwell, born on 2 February 1828, was the son of Matthew and Sarah Anne Blackwell. Matthew founded Blackwell Son and Booth, architects, of Essex Chambers, off King St, Manchester. Isaac took over the firm and designed the Barnes Hospital, Cheadle, now being converted to apartments. Isaac died of a stroke on 2 December 1876, shortly after the completion of the hospital. Isaac married Sarah Anne Williams, who died on 24 December 1879.


Neville’s father was Harry Gratrix Blackwell who was born about 1865 in Barton, Stretford. In 1901 he was a chartered accountant and clerk, and in 1911 he was a cashier to a cotton linen manufacturer. He was a freemason, a member of Avon Lodge until 1913. He died on 26 October 1941 at Sunnymede, Farrar Road, Bangor, but his address was 26 Willoughby Avenue, Didsbury. Probate was awarded in Leicester on 6 February 1942 to Gladys Dorothea Makin (daughter), Constance Mary Blackwell (daughter) and Kathleen Cecilia Matthews (daughter) in the sum of £731 18s 9d.

His mother, Mary Martin was born about 1866 in Hannover (she was a British subject by parentage).

The family’s address in 1901 and 1911 was 176 Russell St, Moss Side.


Neville was born in Sale on 16 March 1893. He was baptised on 2 April 1893 at St Joseph’s RC church, Ashton-on-Mersey. He was educated at St Margaret’s Central Boys’ School, Whalley Range, and was later employed with the shipping house, Messrs Dugdale Everton and Co, Bridgewater House, Manchester.

He joined the Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force) on 16 October 1912. He was called up at the outbreak of war in August 1914. He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Egypt from May 1915. He also served in France and Flanders from February 1917. His service number was 705233. He was killed in action on the Menin Road, Ypres, on 22 September 1917. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website says he was in C Battery, 210th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

He was buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery, plot I. U. 24.

At the time of his death his parents were living at 20 Derwent Avenue, West Didsbury. His captain is reported to have said of him, “Your son, as you will know, was on the Battery Staff and one of the best and cleverest signallers we had, as well as being a very good soldier.”

We have been in contact with one of his family who visited his grave on the centenary of his death this year. A wreath from the parish was placed on his grave.