William Carruthers McNEUR

Regiment:               Royal Engineers; formerly West Yorkshire

Rank & Number:     
Sapper, 420848 (RE); Private, 58500 (WY)  

16 January 1897; Hawthorn Cottage, Fairlie  

                        07 January 1981; Largs  

Brother of Robert McNeur

WILLIAM CARRUTHERS MCNEUR was born 16 Jan 1897 in Hawthorn Cottage, Fairlie to parents Alexander, a ship draughtsman and Ann Kirk Fraser (who married in Govan on 08 Jul 1891).  He died in Largs on 07 Jan 1981.  

He married Elizabeth McNaught at 46 Nelson Street, Largs on 30 Oct 1917, and they had five children.  

In the 1901 Census, William, aged 4, is living Hawthorn Cottage, Fairlie with parents Alexander (37, b. Port Glasgow, yacht draughtsman) and Annie (29, b. England), and siblings Alex (10) and Robert (9).  

In the 1911 Census, aged 14, he is living Croftend, Bay Street with parents Alexander (47, yacht draughtsman) and Annie (39, m 21 years, 3 children)   In the 1935 North Ayrshire Directory, William C. McNeur is at 79 Seamore Street, Largs.  

Prior to the war he was employed by Scott's Shipbuilding & Engineering, Greenock as an Apprentice Draughtsman, who confirm in a memo dated 10 Jan 1919 that they "are prepared to offer him employment on his return to civil life".  However, a letter dated 25 Mar 1922 states they have to dispense with his services owing to shortage of work.  He never worked in the shipyards again - he was employed by I.C.I., he owned a drapers shop in Largs, and in retirement he worked at the putting green.    


Named on the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Roll of Honour of enlisted men printed in Dec 1914 (MacNeur, Pte. William, Croftend, Fairlie, Royal Engineers); his brother wrote to him on 22 Nov 1914 congratulating him on “joining the colours”.  He served in France – family has postcards of Somme villages and towns, and a pass for Cambrai dated 28 Oct 1918.  His medal index card shows he received the British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-    

3 November 1917       
Marriage: McNeur/McNaught – At 46 Nelson Street, Largs on 10 October by the Rev Robert Oswald, M.E., Sapper William McNeur, R.E., Fairlie to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William McNaught, Largs.  

7 September 1918

Quite a few of our local soldier lads are on leave from the Western Front at present.  Amongst them we note Dvr. J.M. Currie, H.D.A.C.; Sergt Hugh P. Burden D.C.M., R.S.F.; L.Cpl. Norman Stewart, 72nd Canadian Seaforths; Sapper William McNeur, R.E.; Pte. David Boyd (Allanbank); Pte. D. Campbell (Hawthorn Cottage), A&SH; also Pte. George Miller, H.L.I., from a training camp in England

William McNeur (back, 3rd right)

    Brothers William (served with the Royal Engineers),
    Robert (died at Gallipoli) and Alexander (exempt
    from service as he was a fireman)

Image of 3 brothers courtesy of David McNeur
Other images courtesy Liz Gibson

Back to list of soldiers names


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785