Lieutenant Colonel John McNeile

Lieutenant Colonel John McNeile, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 52, on 12th July 1915 during the ” Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey. John McNeile came from Kippielaw near Bowden, was a Major in the Reserve Coldstream Guards and a member of the Territorial Force Association of Selkirkshire. On the fateful day the Colonel and his Adjutant, Captain James Lang were up with the leading waves at the non existent third line of Turkish trenches. He soon realised the position and shouted to his men to retire to the captured second trench.  They were both reported missing believed killed and their bodies were not recovered. In Bowden Kirk there is a Memorial Bell ( 1924 ) which was bequeathed to the Kirk by Lieut. Col. McNeile in a soldier’s will. In 1891 he had married Oonagh Edwina Conolly the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel John Augustus Conolly V.C. (He had won his award on 26th October 1854 during the Crimean War whilst serving with the 49th Regiment of Foot). The first photo shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This “hill” was dominated the battlefield and was never captured. the second shows the Borderers attacking at Gallipoli.

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