NAME Patrick James NEIL (aka) James NEIL
BORN c1872  Wanganui, New Zealand
DIED Unknown
UNIT 34th Battalion
ENLISTED Armidale 27 September 1916
DISCHARGED Sydney 12 September 1917 – Medically Unfit

Patrick James Neil (aka) James Neil settled on Lot No. 60 at Batlow Soldier Settlement.  His block was eventually transferred to Charles Boylan who had moved there from Bankstown. Neil applied for his advance on 6 March 1919 which was approved on 8 March.[1]

On 2 December 1919, the manager of Batlow Soldier Settlement made a complaint about Neil, stating that he and two other settlers had been drinking heavily and were neglecting their blocks.  Neil had only just returned from hospital after receiving treatment for injuries which had not healed. On 15 July 1919, he had received burns that had turned septic.  It was reported that he was drinking again and was told not to return to his block.  He had previously received two warnings from the Manager of the Estate about this.[2] There were problems with payment in relation to the transportation of Neil to hospital.  The manager at Batlow believed he should not have to pay himself and the cost should be carried by the Repatriation Department.  ‘I found Neil in an awful plight and acting as any one would have done under the circumstances, I had to take him to hospital’.[3]  Even though it was agreed that the manager of the Estate should be reimbursed, it was suggested that Neil should also contribute.  Neil had no money however and had cleared out from the property by December 1920.  The Manager of the Estate finding,

the place deserted and the cottage in an awful state with empty bottles lying about he place in every room.  One of the doors was smashed to pieces, no doubt, while Neil was in the horrors of drink.[4]

 His allotment of Block 60 was cancelled by Ministerial approval on 21 January 1921.[5] 


[1] SRNSW:  Lands Department, Nrs 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files [12/6854 No. 1228] Patrick James Neil (aka) James Neil, Application for an Advance 6 March 1919.

[2] Ibid, Manager of Batlow SS W. Crook Report to the Acting Director of SS 2 December 1919.

[3] Ibid, 28 September 1920.

[4] Ibid,  1 December 1920.

[5] Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 25 January 1921.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records NSW:  Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6854 No. 1228] Patrick James Neil (aka) James Neil.

National Archives of Austra;ia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossers, James Neil online: