Rank:


Clerk, 3rd Class

Service No(s):


87139

Regiment:


Royal Air Force

Unit:

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Islington

Occupation:

Clerk financier

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Archibald Thomas McNeill

Name of siblings:

Norman; Frank Hugh; Cyril; Percy Colin

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

20/03/1883

Place of enlistment:

Event:

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Sarah Jane McNeill (nee Bond)

Name of spouse:

Rose McNeill (nee Vyvyan)

Address:

12 Victoria Terrace, Stroud Green (1911 Census)
57 Holloway Road (1919 Electoral Register)

Biography:

Archibald Joseph McNeill was the oldest of five brothers commemorated at St Mellitus, all of whom returned safely from their war service.

Archibald was born in Islington on 20 March 1883 and baptised at Craven Methodist Chapel, Westminster, on 23 November 1884. He was the first child of Archibald Thomas McNeill and his wife Sarah Jane, nee Bond. At the time of his birth the family lived at 28 Arthur Road in Holloway, and by 1901 they had moved to 25 Wray Crescent, very close to New Court Congregational Chapel. Four more boys followed: Norman, Frank Hugh, Cyril and Percy Colin. In the 1901 census Archibald is 18 and his occupation is the same as that of his father: stockbroker’s clerk.

In the 1911 census Archibald is a ‘clerk financier’ and is no longer living at home, but is a boarder in the home of Frederick Charles Palmer, ‘railway clerk, pensioned’ and his wife Ruth, along with two other boarders, at 12 Victoria Terrace in Stroud Green. Some time in the last quarter of 1911 Archibald married Rose Vyvyan, a dressmaker, aged 28, whose home was not far away in Harringay.

Records show Archibald’s service from 10 July 1917, when he joined either the Royal Naval Air Service or the Royal Flying Corps, from which he was later transferred into the newly-formed Royal Air Force (RAF). In the RAF his rank was Clerk, 3rd Class and his trade Clerk General, having previously been Air Mechanic 3 and Clerk General respectively. Before being transferred to the RAF his pay was 1s.8d per day.

It may be that Archibald began his military service in the Army, from which men could be discharged in order to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps. It is not possible to be certain, but he may be Service No 300782 or 294264, both Gunners in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1914.

However, it may be that Archibald did not volunteer for the military, not least as he was a married man, and he enlisted in the air service after conscription was extended to married men in May 1916. He is not listed on the Roll of Honour at New Court Congregational Chapel until 1918. There are no further records of his service or discharge.

After the war, in 1919, Archibald and Rose were living in the McNeill family home, which was now at 57 Holloway Road. Archibald McNeill senior died that year and in 1927 his wife, Sarah Jane, emigrated to New Zealand with her youngest son Percy. In the 1939 Register, Archibald and Rose McNeill were living in Billericay in Essex, where Archibald was listed as a retired clerk. His wife Rose died in 1941, and he died in 1967 at Rainham in Essex.