Local Identities

Peter MacNeill (c1900-1949) Obituary

The death occurred at the Harvey District Hospital on Sunday last of Peter MacNeill, at the comparatively young age of 49 years. The late Mr. MacNeill had been losing health rapidly over the last two months and on this occasion had been in hospital for a little over a week. He was predeceased by his wife about three years ago and leaves a family of a son and two daughters to mourn his loss, namely the Misses Rose and May MacNeill and Mr. Peter MacNeill, Jnr. Born in Scotland, the deceased came out to Australia with his parents when thirteen years of age. His father, who took up farming pursuits in the Harvey district, died last year.

At seventeen years of age the late Mr. MacNeill answered the call to arms and fought in the 1914 -18 encounter. After the war he was foreman of the Harvey Road Board for a period, after which, he took up farming on his own account at Uduc, where he had farmed successfully until the time of his demise. He was an active member of the Uduc Progress Association and amongst other things was a member of the committee of the Harvey Agricultural Society. At Monday night’s meeting of the agricultural society, the president (Mr. R. H. G. Palmer) referred to the death of Mr. MacNeill, and asked that the society’s sympathy to his family be recorded in the minutes. It was decided to forward a letter of condolence to the late Mr. MacNeill’s family.

The funeral was held in the Church of Christ portion of the Harvey cemetery on Monday, with Mr. A. Thurrowgood officiating. Prior to the funeral, a service was held at the Church of Christ and eighty-six vehicles followed the cortege to the place of interment, and this huge crowd, along with the numerous wreaths and floral tributes bore testimony as to the high esteem in which the late Mr. MacNeill was held. The Union Jack flag-draped coffin was carried by four R.S.L. men, Messrs. J. J. Pritchard, L. Sims, W. Shaw and Ben Lofthouse, with the R.S.L. men gathered around the graveside the president of the Harvey R.S.L. sub-branch, Mr. J. J. Pritchard, recited the “Creed” (“They Shall Grow Not Old”). The pall-bearers were Messrs. F. A. B. Jones, A. E. Ball, E. Holthouse, G. Morris, V. Giblett and H. Taylor. The chief mourners at the graveside were his son and daughter, Peter and Rose, and his brothers, Bob and Bill. As a mark of respect to the late Mr. MacNeill, Uduc and Benger cricketers lined up each side of the pitch at the Harvey oval on Sunday when it was learnt that he had passed away, and observed two minutes’ silence.

(Harvey Murray Times, 4 March 1949.)