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James Hardie Neil

Unknown photographer (1918) So many more German wounded came into a New Zealand Ambulance that a Bavarian Medical Officer was detailed to attend to his compatriots. Colonel J. Hardie Neil (third left) and Major H.M. Goldstein (far right). Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. PH-ALB-418 H974. Image has no known copyright restirctions.

Unknown photographer (1918) So many more German wounded came into a New Zealand Ambulance that a Bav …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Hardie AWMM
  • Surname
    Neil AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • South African N/N AWMM
    • WWI 3/1307 AWMM
    • WWII 800691 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    27 February 1875 AWMM DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Unknown AWMM
    • Mrs M E Hardie Neil (wife), 64 Symonds St, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs M E Hardie Neil (wife), 64 Symonds St, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) AWMM
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations at Bapaume and Bancourt from 23 August to 3 September 1918. He was in command of the ambulance (3rd NZ Field Ambulance) and constantly visited the forward bearer relay posts. During the action round Bancourt he went forward with two light ambulance cars to within a few hundred ards of the front line and supervised the evacuation. It was owing to his gallantry and personal supervision that the evacuation was so successfully carried out." (London Gazette, 1 February 1919, p1617, Rec 2498) AWMM
    • Queen's South Africa Medal (Cape Colony, Rhodesia, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 clasps) AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal with oak leaf AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) Three Times AWMM
      1st MiD citation: "This officer organised and trained No 3 New Zealand Field Ambulance in New Zealand. Since joining the division in February 1916, his consistently hard work has brought this Unit to a very high state of efficiency. This Officer has also rendered willing and valuable service in organising Divisional Entertainments. His consistent devotion to the duties of his Command and any other duties he has been called upon to perform is deserving of recognition. He has continued to perform these duties throughout the period 21st September 1916 to 25th February 1917." (London Gazette, 1 June 1917, p5430, Rec No 655) 2nd MiD. citation: "This Officer has consistently carried out his duties with enthusiasm and efficiency. During the operations against Messines (June 7th-9th 1917), he commanded an Advanced Dressing Station at Hill 63. Although his position was subjected to a heavy bombardment by shells and gas shells, he carried on his duties without interruption, and his courage and devotion to duty was a constant inspiration to those working under his command." (London Gazette, 28 December 1917, p13575, Rec No 1100) 3rd Mid citation: "For distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period 16th September 1918 to 15th March 1919." (London Gazette, 11 July 1919, p8837) AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1902 AWMM
    • Volunteer Officer's Decoration (VD) AWMM
    • Colonial Auxiliary Forces Decoration AWMM
    • New Zealand Territorial Service Medal AWMM
    • Croix de Guerre (Belgium) AWMM
      Croix de Guerre citation: "For distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign." (London Gazette, 12 July 1918, p8191) AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Mary Elizabeth Coates

    Neil was educated at Otago Boys High School and Otago University (MBChB 1898, MRCS 1902).

    He left with the 4th Contingent for Africa on the S.S. Tagus on 12 June 1901 arriving at Port Chalmers on 11 November 1901. The Contingent was disbanded on 21 July 1901.

    Neil had a medical practice in Symonds Street, Auckland, and was also an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at both Auckland Hospital and Mercy Hospital.

    Married Mary Elizabeth Coates in 1903. She died on 14 February 1959, aged 83. They resided at "Pahi", 64 Symonds Street, Auckland and raised 2 sons and 5 daughters.

    In WWI he served in Egypt and France commanding No.3 Field Ambulance.

    In WW2 he was Officer Commanding the 12th Field Ambulance, Home Guard, Epsom, Auckland.

    He was also associated with the Administration and Organisation of the Emergency Precaution Service.

    The Auckland Museum Library's manuscripts collection holds an autograph album belonging to James Hardie Neil, containing autographs, mainly of fellow New Zealand Medical Corps staff, but also including those of several residents of Le Quesnoy. Also featured are 13 small watercolour paintings and pen and ink drawings by 3/3446 Private John Weeks and 3/1761 Private Clement ('Clem') Comer. [Ref. MS 383]

    Auckland Museum Boer War "Sieges, Shrapnel & Scalpels" Display. Items on display are a Red Cross Arm band and a medical chest. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    27 January 1955 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 29 January 1955 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2013). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. (3rd ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.: Richard Stowers. AWMM
    • Stowers, R. (2002). Rough Riders at War: history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer war 1899-1902 and information on all members of the ten New Zealand contingents. Author: Hamilton, N.Z. AWMM
    • New Zealand Contingents to South Africa: Nominal Rolls (1900). Wellington, N.Z.: Government Printer. AWMM
      24: 34 AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1917). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume II. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
    • Neil, J.H. (1919 rev 1940). Field ambulance organization and administration. London: H.K. Lewis. AWMM
    • Neil, James Hardie. Autograph album, 1916 - 1921. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. PD-1959-1. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 29 January 1955 AWMM
    • Unknown photographer. (1914 - 1918) [Battles at Ypres and Messines]. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. PH-ALB-195. AWMM
    • Neil, J. H., & Neil, T. H. (1948). Ear, nose and throat nursing. Auckland, N.Z.: Auckland Service Printery. AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 1: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Pat Clarkson Medical Practitioner Research Project (January 2014 - March 2022). This project identified Medical Practioners who served in WWI. AWMM
    • Pugsley, C. (2018). Le Quesnoy, 1918 : New Zealand's Last Battle. Auckland, New Zealand : Oratia. AWMM
    • The Le Quesnoy Campaign research was undertaken by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists as part of the development of New Zealand Liberation Museum - Te Arawhata (Le Quesnoy France). This research project was led by CJ Barbour (NZSG), BI Silvester, HH Farrant (NZMHS) with the support of NZSG volunteers (2022). The individuals included in this research data set were verified as serving in Le Quesnoy. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
01 May 2021MarcusSydney, AustraliaDirect descendant
28 August 2017AllanRotoruaResearcher

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