Monday, December 20, 2010

Private John Neil Sr - 136267

According to his attestation papers dated September 2, 1915 at Toronto, John Neil Sr. was born on March 8, 1875 in Paisley, Scotland.  He listed his wife Sarah Neil, Fifth Street, New Toronto, Ontario as his next of kin.  He was a paper mill worker and had no previous military experience. He was 39 years and 5 months of age and stood 5 feet 5 3/4 inches tall.  He had grey eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.  He had a scar on the index finger of his left hand and a scar on the first finger of his right hand.  He was a Presbyterian. 

John Neil Sr. was a member the 46th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) when he was killed on November 6, 1916.  According to the CEF burial register he was wounded in the right leg by shrapnel on the night of November 4, 1916, and after first aid was administered he was taken to a dressing station.  From there he was evacuated to No. 49 Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed two days later.  Further details in the Commonwealth War Graves register indicate the gunshot wounds to his leg had resulted in a compound fracture.

He was buried at the Contay British Cemetery, Somme, France.

John Neil Sr. was the son of Mrs. John Neil, of 30 Ferguslie St., Paisley, Scotland; and husband of Mrs. Sarah Neil, of 103 Fifth St., New Toronto, Ontario.

According to the 1911 Census the family emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1904.  Interesting John Neil Sr listed his birth year at 1874 which would have meant he was 40 years old at the time of his enlistment.  Did he revise his birth year down by one year so that he was under 40 years of age?
 courtesy of the Virtual Canadian War Memorial 
(though the captions to the photos seem to be reversed)

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