|The Family of Hugh & Susannah McNeill|
|Hugh McNeill||=||Susannah Gartland|
|of Consett||of Wardley|
Ellen McNeill 1902-1974
Nellie was born on 9th of March 1902. at Benwell. Newcastle upon Tyne. Always known as Nellie her Birth and Death Certificates state 'Ellen' but her Marriage Certificate says Helen. She was probably named after her grandmother as were two of her cousins on the Gartland side. The home of the McNeill's since the early part of the century, was 161 Dolphin Street, Benwell and it remained thus until 1948 when Ellen (McNeill) Brown moved to number 157 with her sons, Jimmy and Joseph, in order to look after an invalid neighbour Edward Farrage.
In 1969 a compulsory purchase order was issued under the Gill Street Compulsory Purchase Order 1969 and Nos. 157 & 161 along with others were demolished to be replaced by modern housing.
On the 29th of April 1929 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Benwell she married James Alban Brown of 20 William Street Newcastle in the presence of William Smith and Ethel Mary Canning. On the 14th of February 1931 their first son was born, who they named, James Alban Joseph Brown. Nellie's second son, Joseph Austin Brown was born with Downs Syndrome on the 12th August 1939 at Salford Lancashire where she was employed as a domestic help. Nellie died on 21st of August 1974 at Newcastle General Hospital, Wingrove. and was buried in Fenham Cemetery.
Hugh McNeill 1904-1985
Hughie was born on the 3rd of October 1904 at 8 Lister Street in Scotswood. He was the second child and first son of Hugh McNeill and Susannah Gartland. A bill of sale relating to the sale and exchange of Motor Cycles recently came to light dated 13th of August 1925. The bill reads. Hugh McNeill "Received the sum of £19.0.0. (Nineteen Pounds) & Precision Motor Cycle for Payment of "Braugh" Motor Cycle Combination. Value of £25.0.0. (Twenty Five Pounds). An allowance of £6.0.0. deducted for Engine Repairs. Making total of £19.0.0." It was purchased from M Thirloway, 57, Condercum Road and the receipt was signed by G Gregson for M. Thirloway over two one penny stamps.
A second letter found refers to an accident Hughie had on his motor cycle whilst living in Melton Mowbray and was sent by his sister Nellie to Jack Devitt thanking him for looking after his interests during this time. Shortly after this in March and July 1929, Nellie took out two insurance policies on his life, presumably as she was his next of kin she was taking precautions against a more serious event occurring in the future.
In his teenage years, along with his future 'Best Man' Eddie Nixon, and others they formed the Barnesbury Cycling Club. The club was named after the street where they used to meet, (the junction of Dolphin Street with 'Barnesbury' Road and Farndale Road). Although founded in 1923 it was not until 1926 that the committee was formalised and he became its first Chairman, a position he still held in 1928.
Following an apprenticeship as a Carpenter & Joiner he was put out of work and for a time worked on his own account. This would appear to have been short lived as around 1926 he arrived in Melton Mowbray and in September 1927 obtained employment with The Midland Woodworking Company Limited, with whom he remained until his retirement some 42 years later in October 1969. He met Dorothy Mabel Cufflin of 6 Swaffam Street, Leicester and by this time he had graduated from a bicycle to a motor cycle as according to a newspaper cutting, it was on his way home from Leicester one night that he caught the grass verge after being dazzled by the headlights of an oncoming car and was found unconcious by the road side, he later recovered and was able to complete his journey home to Melton Mowbray. They were married at the Sacred Heart Church in Mere Road Leicester in 1932 and made their home at 17 Charlotte Street Melton Mowbray. Their children were: Hugh Brian 1933: Frederick Alan 1934; Mary Sheila 1936; Anthony Colin 1937 and Francis Derek 1941.
He was a founder member of the Midland Woodworking Co. Sports Club and the Melton Mowbray Local Labour Party. A Life member of The Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers and The Melton Mowbray Working Mens Club. A Member of The Catholic Mens Society, The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade and St. John the Baptist Church Choir.
Of his many activities his favourites were Football and Singing, he played soccer for the Midland Woodworkers (Splinters) at center forward with his name regularly appearing among the goal scorers. He later turned out to officiate at matches and in 1930 was appointed a Grade 1 Referee. For twenty years he was Chairman of the Midland Woodworking Sports and Social Club of which he was a founder member.
He was very proud of the fact that in 1930 he had performed with the Melton Choral Society, Mendelssohn's Elijah conducted by Dr. (later Sir) Malcolm Sargent in St. Mary's Parish Church. A member of The Melton Mowbray Amateur Operatic Society he took part in over twenty productions and was its chairman in 1950. At the age of eighty he could still entertain the patients and staff of St Mary's Hospital, where he spent his last two years, with a powerful rendering of 'The Blaydon Races'.
He died on 25th of January 1985 and following a Requium Mass at St. Peters Church Welby Lane, was buried in Thorpe Road Cemetery, Melton Mowbray on the 30th January.
James McNeill 1909-1972
James McNeill was born on Friday the 9th of July 1909 at Newcastle. He married Bridget Floody of Newcastle who was born on 3rd of April 1914 and was one of ten children born to Dennis Floody and his wife Susanna Calaghan.
Working as an Upholsterer he enlisted with the Territorial Army at the TAVR Centre in Hutton Terrace Newcastle on 18th March 1935. On the 6th of October 1939 he 'signed on' for four years 'with the colours' in the Royal Army Medical Corps Number 7343961 Private James McNeill and was graded as a Nursing Orderly. Following the outbreak of war he was posted to the 149 (N) Field Ambulance Company with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and in a letter to his sister Nell of the 25th of March 1940, in which he thanked her for a parcel, he hinted that he may be due for some leave, '...but don't tell Beattie because I haven't said anything to her yet, as I don't want to raise her hopes.' Judging by the turn of events this would have been his embarkation leave and the last Beattie would see of him for the next four years. It must have been a very painful shock, when, on the 27th of June 1940 Beattie received an official letter from the RAMC Records Office informing her that her husband had been "posted" as missing on the 10th June. Not knowing what had happened to Jim, she no doubt suffered a great deal of distress during the next three months, as it was not until the 27th of September 1940 that she was informed that Jim was a Prisoner of War at Camp Stalag VIII B. This was situated at Lamsdorf in eastern Germany close to the border with Czechoslovakia. In a postcard to his sister Nell, Jim had written that he had been a prisoner since 28th of May 1940 and that other cards he had written since then 'had been returned'. This in turn must also have been painful for him as he would have wanted Beattie to know of his situation and would wish to have news of home. By June 1942 he had been moved to Stalag XXI A at Schildberg in Poland, just over the German border. From records in his army pay book it would appear that he was repatriated some time in 1943 as a series of medical tests, vaccinations and inoculations were carried out between 17th December 1943 and 16th March 1945.
At the time of his death he was working as a Machine Operator and living at 89 Dovercourt Road, Walker, Newcastle. He died on the 9th of December 1972 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Leazes.
Thomas McNeill 1911-1954
Tom McNeill was born on 9th of August 1911 at 46 Prospect Terrace Benwell Newcastle upon Tyne. He married Jean Armstrong of Newburn Northumberland in 1935 and they had three children: Hugh born in 1938; Ronnie 1939 and an adopted daughter Linda 1949. He enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps and during the war served with the 151st Light Field Ambulance with the Middle East Forces. Postal delays were probably the reason for the early dispatch of Christmas cards as one Tom sent from the Middle East to his sister Nell was dated 20.10.1941 Whilst working as a colliery foreman he was involved in a mining accident and died as a result of his injuries in 1954. Following Tom's death Jean married Reg Kay and in 1966 they were living at 6 Villiers Gardens, Lucker, Belford. Jean died in 1980.