Andrew Watson NEIL

Regiment:               Labour Corps; formerly Highland Light
                               formerly Royal Scots Fusiliers  

Rank & Number:     Private, 221156 (LC); 21719 (HLI);
                               31314 (RSF)  

31 March 1877; Symington, Ayrshire  

                      3 May 1955; Nhill, Victoria, Australia 


ANDREW WATSON NEIL was born 31 Mar 1877 in Symington, Ayrshire, to parents Robert Neil, master tailor, and Sarah Ann Watson (who married in Kilmarnock on 21 Dec 1869). He died in Nhill, Victoria, Australia on 3 May 1955, aged 78, and is interred at Nhill cemetery. 

He married Margaret Noble in Dundonald in 1910, and they had three children (Robert b. 10/3/1912, d. c 1982; Margaret Loudon b. 5/10/1913, d. 02/1999; Annie Watson b. 31/08/1917).  Margaret died 08 Nov 1917, while Andrew was serving in the army.  After Margaret’s death, Andrew employed Janet McCall as housekeeper to care for his three young children.  Andrew and Janet married soon after his discharge from the army in 1918, and they had two children (Ellen McCall b. Fairlie 1919, d. Ballarat, Australia 24/12/1977 and Andrew b. Fairlie 4/1/1921, d. Adelaide, Australia).

Andrew, Janet and their five children emigrated to Australia on the Euripides, arriving in Melbourne in Mar 1922 to join his four siblings who owned a tailor’s shop in Brighton, Melbourne.  The shop could not support another family member, so Andrew and his family moved to Nhill, Victoria, where he worked as a gardener until his retirement.
In the 1901 Census, Andrew, aged 24, is a tailor, living Symington with parents Robert (60, tailor, b. Ireland) and Sarah Anne (59, b. Kilmarnock) and siblings William (30), Mary (26), Robert (22) and Annie (19).   In the 1911 Census, aged 34, he is a gardener dom., living Whitehall Lodge, Monkton, Prestwick with wife Margaret (35, b. Dundonald, m. 1 year)  

The 1920 Valuation Roll has Andrew Neil, gardener, tenant at Corona Place, Fairlie.    

Enlisted R.S.F. 12 Sep 1916 (aged 39, gardener, nok wife); transferred H.L.I. 20 Oct 1916; transferred Labour Corps 08 Jun 1917.  After the death of his wife on 08 Nov 1917, he applied to be discharged to army reserve on compassionate grounds as he had no relatives in England (where he was based) to look after his three children.  His request was denied as his services were required in the army.  He was demobilized on 11 May 1919.

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785