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Samuel Neill


  • Title
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    Samuel AWMM
  • Surname
    Neill AWMM
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    Male AWMM
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Civilian life

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Prisoner of war

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Biographical information

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    • Major Samuel Neill, Hon. Unattached List, New Zealand Volunteers, was born in Ireland, and entered Her Majesty's 65th Regiment of Infantry, in which he served over twenty-three years. He came to New Zealand in 1846, per ship “Pastongeebomongee,” an old East Indiaman, and retired in 1864. Major Neill then joined the volunteer movement, and held the rank of captain for ten years, and that of major for eleven years. He commanded the forces in Patea, Rangitikei, and Wanganui Volunteer districts from February, 1882, to January, 1883, when he retired. Major Neill was at the taking possession of Parakino, on the Wanganui River, in 1865, at Wereroa, at the relief of Pipiriki, and at Pates camp 1868, under Colonel McDonald. He is now in his 71st year. Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 November 2015 - The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
      Yesterday morning another of the colony's grand old veterans passed away, in the person of Major Samuel Neill. The deceased, who had attained the age of 71 years, was one of the heroes of New Zealaud, a man who saw 20 years of army service in our colony, and a steady, sensible soldier, who rose from the lowest ranks of the service to one of the highest, — in a comparatively short space of time. When quite a young man he enlisted in Ireland in Her Majesty's 65th Regiment of Royal Bengal Tigers, and after a few years of Home service he accompanied his regiment to New Zealand, where they remained until the rebellion was nearly over, a period of 20 years. The deceased's diary, which is published verbatim in W. Gudgeon's "Defenders of New Zealand," shows the vicissitudes through which the 65th passed, after landing in Auckland on the 26th March, 1847. The late Major Neill saw a deal of active service in the Waitara and Auckland Districts, and was present at those historical engagements, the attack on Kai-taka-turia Pa and the shelling of Meremere. Colour-Sergeant Neill left his regiment and came to Wanganui in 1862, and joined the militia and volunteer stall, being promoted to the rank of Captain on the 19th April, 1873. He commanded volunteers in the Patea, Rangitikei and Wanganui Districts, and was further promoted to the rank of Major. Right up to within the last few years Major Neill continued to take an active interest in the cause of volunteering, and his appearance on parade was always welcomed. As a private citizen Major Neill did not shirk his responsibilities, and for many years was a valued member of the Wanganui Borough Council and School Committee and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. A man of quiet and unassuming disposition, and courteous and obliging to a degree, he was held in respect and esteem by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance. The deceased, who had been confined to his bed for some time past, leaves a widow and a grown-up family of three sons and three daughters. The sons are Mr M. (Lieut.) Neill, of Aramoho; Mr William J. Neill, of Sandon ; and Mr Geo, Neill, of Lawrence; and the daughters are — Mrs Ballantyne, of Chelsea, England ; Mrs Northover, of Marton ; and Miss Neill, of Wanganui. As was to be expected, the deceased is to be accorded a military funeral, and, despite the unavoidably short notice, we have no doubt that there will be a very large attendance. . The funeral leaves his late residence, Campbell Street, at 2.30 o'clock this afternoon. Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 November 2015 - Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XXIXI, Issue 12288, 12 May 1898, Page 2
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About death

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  • Death
    11 May 1898 Obituary
    WanganuiManawatu-Wanganui Obituary
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  • External links
    'Obituary: Major Samuel Neill', Wanganui Herald, 11 May 1898
    Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Gudgeon, T. (1887). The defenders of New Zealand : being a short biography of colonists who distinguished themselves in upholding Her Majesty's supremacy in these islands. Auckland, N.Z.: H. Brett. AWMM
      Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth. Defenders of New Zealand. p. 68-76 AWMM
    • Stowers, R. (2010). The New Zealand Medal to colonials : detailed medal rolls of officers and men in colonial units who received the New Zealand Medal for service in the New Zealand Wars 1845-1872. Hamilton, N.Z.: Author. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
16 November 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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