Rank:


Private

Service No(s):


10029

Regiment:


Honourable Artillery Company

Unit:

4/1st Battalion

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Islington

Occupation:

Book seller

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Archibald Thomas McNeill

Name of siblings:

Archibald Joseph; Frank Hugh; Cyril; Percy Colin

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

30/03/1884

Place of enlistment:

Event:

France; Home

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Sarah Jane McNeill (nee Bond)

Name of spouse:

Ethel McNeill (nee Russell)

Address:

25 Wray Crescent (1911 Census)
57 Holloway Road (1917)

Biography:

Norman McNeill was one of five brothers commemorated at St Mellitus, all of whom returned safely from their war service.

Born on 30 March 1884, Norman was the second son of Archibald Thomas McNeill and his wife Sarah Jane, nee Bond. He was baptised at Craven Methodist Chapel in  central London in 1885. In the 1901 census Norman, aged 17, was living with his parents, older brother Archibald and three younger siblings at 25 Wray Crescent, very close to New Court Congregational Chapel. His occupation, like that of Archibald senior and Archibald junior, was stockbroker’s clerk.

In 1911 Norman was still living at home, but his occupation was now bookseller, as was that of his younger brother Frank. His father had been promoted to Stockbroker’s Managing Clerk, and the two youngest boys, Cyril and Percy, had now joined his profession. By 1916, when Frank got married, the family had moved to 57 Holloway Road.

Norman did not volunteer early in the war like his brothers Percy and Cyril. It seems he may have been called up once conscription was introduced for single men aged 18 – 41 in January 1916. On 14 January 1917 Norman got married to Ethel Russell at St Mark’s Church in Tollington Park, and on 25 January he joined the Army as a Private in 4th Company, 1st Battalion, the Honourable Artillery Company. His brother Cyril was already in the 2nd Battalion of this regiment, the oldest surviving regiment of the British Army.

Norman was one of 74 other ranks from the 1st Reserve Battalion sent under a Special Draft to France in April 1917. He embarked on the SS Londonderry at Southampton on 15 April, disembarking at Le Havre the next day. His unit saw action in the Battle of Arras, which was a British offensive on the Western Front from 9 April to 16 May 1917. It seems that Norman was badly wounded at some point as he was awarded the Silver War Badge. He later transferred to the Physical Training and Bayonet Training School back in the UK, and continued to serve until 1919.

In the 1939 Register, Norman and Ethel were living in Maidstone in Kent, where Norman was a book salesman. He died at Maidstone in 1957.