Neil was a school teacher, probably near Woomelang(3), VIC when he enlisted in the AIF, 12th Reinforcements, 6th Battalion on the 9th of August 1915, aged 21 - he had previously served in the Senior Cadets for two years. He embarked aboard the HMAT A40 Ceramic in November, disembarking in Egypt some time later.
After joining his unit he was promoted to Lance Corporal before leaving Egypt and arriving at Marseilles, France at the end of March 1916. In May Neil was promoted to Corporal and then in July, during the Battle of Pozieres, he suffered a gunshot wound to the ear and was admitted to the 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, France - rejoining his unit early in August. Neil went to the 4th Officer Cadet Battalion in February 1917, returning to his unit as a Second Lieutenant in May. In September his actions would see him later awarded the Military Cross:-
During the attack on GLENCORSE WOOD on 10th Sept, 1917 he led his platoon forward with great dash at a strong point which was holding up the platoon on his left. He immediately engaged it from a flank capturing it and taking 23 prisoners and a machine gun.Source: Recommendation for the Military Cross
Neil was promoted to Lieutenant in December 1917 and was awarded his Military Cross in March 1918. In August, during the Battle of Amiens, Neil was killed in action:-
He was my Platoon Commander.I think he spelt his name McLachlan. He had a brother also in France. He was tall, 5ft11 and dark and was much loved by the lads. At Rosieres Ridge we went over the top at 7.45 a.m. on the 10th Aug/18. I am sure it was the 10th and not the 9th. Mack was in charge and leading. He was hit in the head with M.G. bullets and killed instantly. I saw him lying dead in the open. I got hit a few minutes later, and was carried off to the D/S.Source: Pte. Morgan 7052
Neil was buried in the field but later exhumed and reburied at Rosieres Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
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Last updated by lee, Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:11:42