Neill, David William (David)
No. 492, 73rd Siege Battery, South African Heavy Artillery
Killed in action on Tuesday 9 April 1918 (aged 37)
Beuvry Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Grave II. D. 12)
South African Roll of Honour 1914 – 1918
Bangor and District War Memorial
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
War Memorial Plaque in Bangor Grammar School
Family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard
David William Neill was born on 27 April 1880 at Flood Hall, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny and he was a son of David and Henrietta Neill (nee Lowden, sometimes Loudon) who later lived in Crawfordsburn. David Neill and Henrietta Lowden were married on 1 August 1872 in St Thomas’s Church of Ireland Church, Dublin.
David Neill Senior worked as a land steward and he died in Glendora, Crawfordsburn on 3 May 1898 (aged 55), two years after his wife Henrietta who died in Crawfordsburn on 10 July 1896 (aged 50).
Gunner David William Neill’s death was reported in the 4 May 1918 edition of the County Down Spectator. According to the report ‘this popular resident of Bangor had seen much service’. He went out from Bangor with the Irish Horse and served in Colonel James Craig’s Squadron during the South African Campaign. When hostilities ended he remained in South Africa where he worked in auditing and accountancy. He was a keen rower and in 1910, along with another oarsman, he won the Pair Oared Championship of South Africa.
In 1914 David William Neill joined the Imperial Light Horse and he served in the conquest of German South-West Africa under General Botha. When these forces were demobilised, he volunteered for service with the South African forces overseas. After training in England, he served in France during the Somme operations. He was invalided to England in 1917 and returned to France in early 1918.
Gunner David William Neill (No. 492) was 37 when he was killed in action at La Basse on 9 April 1918 and he was buried in Beuvry Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Gunner David William Neill (No. 492) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 53); on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; on the War Memorial Plaque in Bangor Grammar School and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard.
Gunner David William Neill’s brother, John Alexander Neill, was also a serving soldier and he died on 27 December 1956 (aged 85).