The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Private W J McNeil


Private William John MCNEIL, L/9927,  2nd  Battalion,  Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, killed in action, Nasiriyah, with Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, 24th July 1915. 

Born Lewisham, Kent, son of Edward McNeil, 66 Kerry Road, New Cross, London.

*1899 March, Greenwich Registration District, Louisa Emma Elizabeth  McNeil, married Alfred Thomas Ridgley

1911 Census - 213 Childers Street, Deptford, SE - Alfred Thomas Ridgley, head, age 32, married, general labourer, worker, born New Cross, London; Louisa Eliza Ridgley, wife, age 30, married 12 years, 5 children, 3 still alive, born Lewisham, London; Emma Louisa Ridgley, daughter, age 10, born Deptford, London; Lilian Lucy Ridgley, daughter, age 7, born Deptford, London; Elsie Ellen Ridgley, daughter, age 3, born Deptford, London;

Edward Charles McNeil, wife's father, age 49, widower, general labourer, worker, born Portsmouth, Hampshire; William John McNeil, son, age 17, single, bakers assistant, worker, born Lewisham, London; Ethel Elizabeth McNeil, daughter, age 13, born New Cross, London.

Home 16th January 1912 to 7th August 1912.

16th January 1912, New Cross, enlisted 3rd Battalion, (Special Reserve), Royal West Kent Regiment, Service No.8456. Age 18 years & 4 months, height 5ft 1¾ inches, weight 110lbs, light hazel eyes, light brown hair, two scars back of neck, scar index finger right hand, & thumb of left hand, slight knock knee. Formerly bakers assistant.

16th January 1912 to 15th June 1912, training; 16th February 1912, 3rd Class Certificate of Education, during Drill on enlistment;

27th April 1912 to 2nd May 1912, Maidstone Hospital, right sprained knee, on duty, not to blame, stoppages remitted.

6th May 1912, Maidstone, Court of Enquiry for the purpose of investigating how No.8456 Pte W McNeil came by his injury - 1st Witness, No.8456. Pte W McNeil states - At Maidstone on the 25th April at 9.15pm the squad to which I belong was carrying out night operations in the back field. Corporal Loft detailed me as a reconnoitering patrol. While passing the trenches I missed my footing and fell in & sprained my right knee. I did not report sick at the time, but finding on Saturday that I could only walk with difficulty I reported sick; 2nd Witness, No.8455 Pte W Whiffen states - at Maidstone on the 25th April 1912 at about 9.15pm Cpl Lofts squad was carrying out night operation in the back field. I was sent out as a reconnoitering patrol with Pte McNeil. On reaching the trenches near the drill shed Pte McNeil missed his footing and fell in. He told me he had hurt his right knee; 3rd Witness - No.8005 Cpl W Loft states - at Maidstone on the 25th April 1912, I was carrying out night reconnoitering patrols with my squad at about 9.20pm. Pte McNeil came and reported to me that he had fallen into a trench and hurt his right knee. As he was limping badly on Saturday 27th I told him to report sick. Opinion - I certify that the injury to the above named soldier occurred whilst he was in performance of a military duty. I consider that he was in no way to blame & recommend the remission of hospital stoppages.

7th August 1912, discharged to join Regular Army.

Enlisted Maidstone, Kent, age 18 years & 11 months, height 5ft 2½ inches, weight 117lbs, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, light brown hair, scar base left thumb, tattoo mark right forearm cross with ?????, scar on both knees. Formerly bakers assistant.

At time of enlistment - Oldest Sister - Louise McNeil, 66 Kerry Road, New Cross, London; Youngest sister - Ethel McNeil, 66 Kerry Road, New Cross, London; Oldest Brother - Edward George McNeil, 74th Battery, Royal Artillery, India.

Home 8th August 1912 to 20th October 1913; India 21st October 1913 to 24th July 1915.

8th August 1912, Maidstone, enlisted Depot, Royal West Kent Regiment; 13th August 1912, Dublin, joined Battalion; 24th September 1913, Employment sheet, willing & particularly industrious.  Has been Company cook for the past 6 months and has shown himself to be very hard working; 22nd October 1913, posted India & 2nd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment; 22nd January 1914, 2nd Class Certificate of Education;  21st August 1914, passed Class of Instruction, swimming; 7th September 1914 to 13th September 1914, Multan Hospital, malaria.

21st June 1919, Statement of Relatives, completed by sister, *Mrs Louisa Emma Elizabeth Ridgley - Widow, none; Children, none; Father, none; Mother, none; Brothers - Edward George McNeil, age 35, 21st Battery, Reserve? Royal Artillery, Woolwich; Sisters - Louisa Emma Elizabeth Ridgley, age 38, 83 Napier Road, Deptford, SE8; Lucy Eliza Ridgley, age 33, 9 Athesian? Street, New Cross, SE; Ethel Elizabeth McNeil, age 22, 83 Napier Road, Deptford, SE8;

Buried at Basra  War Cemetery, II. R. 11., Iraq.

This page was last updated on 15-Nov-2020.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason