My Family at War

My great-grandfather William Neill was the influence behind my exploration of the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers that led to Blacker’s Boys. Since writing the book I have discovered other relatives who served during the First World War, and some who served during the Boer War and the Second World War. Each has a very different story (those without a link are yet to be written):

14577 Sergeant William Neill DCM
Transport Sergeant, 9th (Service) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) (County Armagh)/9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) throughout the First World War. He was my great-grandfather.

Sergeant William Neill DCM

Sergeant William Neill DCM

5/4732 Sergeant Hamilton Neill
Attached to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles during the South Africa War in 1902, later served with the 5th Battalion in the Special Reserve, and then with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles throughout the First World War. Wounded on 16 June 1915 at the Battle of Bellewaarde. He served as a regular soldier after the war with The Royal Ulster Rifles and, for six years, was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Regiment. He was my great-great-uncle.

Sergeant Hammie Neill

Sergeant Hammie Neill

2739 Private Moses Neill
A regular soldier in 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles, he served in Malta, India and during the South Africa War and later with the Royal Garrison Regiment. He was my great-great-uncle.

Bugler Moses Neill in India

Bugler Moses Neill in India

2097365 Leading Aircraftwoman Marie Tarrant Neill
Miriam Neill served throughout during Second World War with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Box (RAF Rudlow Manor) in Wiltshire. She was my great-aunt.

Leading Aircraftwoman Miriam Neill

17/673 Lance Corporal Thomas George Bunting
9th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles (West Belfast) during the First World War. Killed in action in the period 1-3 July 1916 at Thiepval. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was my first cousin, twice removed.

Private Thomas Bunting

Private Thomas Bunting

18/1141 Lance Corporal Robert Thompson
15th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles (North Belfast) during the First World War. Captured on 21 March 1918 at Racecourse Redoubt, St Quentin. He was my maternal great-uncle.

Rifleman Robert Thompson

Rifleman Robert Thompson

Private Samuel Thompson
Ulster Home Guard during the Second World War. He was my maternal grandfather.

Private Samuel 'Sammy' Thompson

Private Samuel ‘Sammy’ Thompson

Private James Thompson
Ulster Home Guard during the Second World War. He was my maternal great-uncle.

Private James 'Jimmy' Thompson

Private James ‘Jimmy’ Thompson

Private John Thompson
Ulster Home Guard during the Second World War. He was my maternal great-uncle.

Private John 'Johnny' Thompson

Private John ‘Johnny’ Thompson

In addition, my wife’s great-grandfather enlisted in Canada:

504226 Private John Palmer Bowes
2nd Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company, Canadian Army Service Corps, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

Private John Palmer Bowes

Private John Palmer Bowes

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