b. 22/02/1900 Worthing, Sussex. d. 24/08/1921 Hull, Yorkshire.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 20/12/1917 Polegate, Sussex.
Eric was born in Worthing, Sussex, and lived at 37 Gloster Place. His parents names were James Blann and Emily Steere (nee Butcher). His father worked as a joiner. Eric was the third of their four children and their only son. He was just 17 at the time of the incident which led to his Albert Medal in Gold. Tragically, he was killed, aged just 21 in August 1921 in the R.38 airship disaster over Hull, Yorkshire. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the R.38 Memorial in the Western Cemetery, Hull.
On the occasion of an accident to one of His Majesty’s airships, which resulted in a fire breaking out on board her, Flight Lieutenant Watson, who was the senior Officer on the spot, immediately rushed up to the car of the airship under the impression that one of the crew was still in it, although he was well aware that there were heavy bombs attached to the airship which it was impossible to remove owing to the nearness of the fire, and which were almost certain to explode at any moment on account of the heat. Having satisfied himself that there was in fact no one in the car, he turned’ away to render assistance elsewhere, and at that moment one of the bombs exploded, a portion of it shattering Lieutenant Watson’s right arm at the elbow. The arm had to be amputated almost immediately. Air Mechanic H. V. Robinson and Boy Mechanic E. E. Steere, on the occasion of an accident to one of His Majesty’s airships which caused a fire to break out on board her, approached the burning airship without hesitation, extricated the pilot and two members of the crew, all of whom were seriously injured, and then unclipped the bombs from the burning car and carried them out of reach of the fire. As the bombs were surrounded by flames, and were so hot that they scorched the men’s hands as they carried them, they must have expected the bombs to explode.
BURIAL LOCATION: BODY LOST. NAMED ON R38 MEMORIAL, WESTERN CEMETERY, HULL.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.