NEILL, Lyonel Clare Fyans
(Service number 37/1605 (66441))
|First Rank||Air Mechanic||Last Rank|
|Date||Unknown||Place of Birth||Dunedin, N.Z.|
|Date||Age||20 yrs 4 mths|
|Address at Enlistment|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Beatrice Victoria Robinson & Forster Fyans Neill, parents|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Served with||New Zealand Armed Forces (?)||Served in|
|Body on Embarkation|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With||Royal Flying Corps|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials||Albury War Memorial; Fairlie War Memorial|
Lyonel was born in Dunedin on 14 June 1894, the son of Foster Fyans and Beatrice Victoria Robinson, nee Jones, Neill, who married in 1893 at Geelong. His grandparents, Percival Clay and Gertrude Emmeline nee Fyans had come from Australia to Dune din in 1863 at the beginning of the Otago gold rushes. Grandfather set up a supplies store for the miners. This also included a liquor license: the firm later merged with Wilson and Co. to form Wilson and Neill Ltd.
Foster owned a property at Bushy Park, north of Dunedin. Lyonel went to the school at Waikouaiti, beginning on 18 July 1904 and leaving 12 September 1905.
In 1906 his father bought "Albury Park" farm in South Canterbury and Lyonel went to the Te Ngawai School. Also in 1906 Foster bought a Darracq car in Dune din. The car is still used and owned privately.
It is thought Lyonel worked on his father's property and served 3 years in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, and later travelled to the England.
He married Marjory Eleanor Harper, born Dunedin, New Zealand in 1897, in the March quarter of 1915 at Brentford, Middlesex. Their son Fredric Fyans Neill was born in the June quarter of 1916, also at Brentford. Their daughter Joan Walcott Neill was born in the December quarter 1917 at Epping, Essex about 17 days before her father's death. His mother Beatrice had died in London in 1916 aged 47 years. Foster Neill later married Josephine Barton Gillingham in 1920 at St Stephens Anglican church at Fairlie and two children were born. Philip Foster, born c 1922, died of polio 1943 aged 20: a medical student, he also studied music at Dunedin. Katherine born 1921 who on the death of her brother gave 1000 pounds for a music scholarship in his memory to be awarded by the University of Otago.
Lyonel worked with the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Lyonel had applied to join the NZEF in September 1914 and was discharged as medically unfit in the November. Lyonel was recoirded as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, with hazel eyes and black hair. He was an Anglican.
About 1916 Lyonel joined the Royal Flying Corps, perhaps to train as a pilot. He was stationed at Farnham and the Hall Flying School, London. An aerial career was not to be. On 17 October 1917 Lyonel boarded the "Osterley" to be sent home via Sydney to New Zealand. He had had a recurrent ear infection: (he may have had ear problems when he was a child). ON 30 October 1917 he died of disease at sea. His death Certificate says "Meningitis and cerebral abscess, secondary to chronic suppuration of the Mastoid Antum" His wife Marge and the children returned to New Zealand after the war and one time were living in Wai-iti Road, Timaru. A war gratuity was paid to Mrs Neill.
Lyonel was awarded the British Army and Victory medals. He appears on the Roll of Honour Waikouaiti Memorial as N.F. Neill, St Clement Danes RAF Church London, the Albury and Fairlie Memorials and the Commonwealth War Graves.
- Lyonel Clare Fyans Neill biography by Jennifer Cordes (Mackenzie Genealogical Group) (pdf, 107.7 KB updated 22-Mar-2018)
Researched and Written by
Maree Bowen, SC branch NZSG; J Cordes, Mackenzie Genealogical Group
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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