CH/18066, 4th Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry.
Died 23rd April 1918 in England. Age 22. Born at Castle Combe.
Son of Annie Taylor Short (formerly Neate), of 100, Wood Lane,
Chippenham, and the late Richard Neate. Buried south of the church
in ST ANDREW CHURCHYARD, CASTLE COMBE, Wiltshire.
reports from the time.
those who fell at Zeebrugge on April 23rd was Cpl RHR Neate son
of the late Mr R Neate of Castle Combe and of Mrs Short now residing
at Englands, Chippenham, whose husband Pte W Short formerly a
postman at Chippenham is serving in France.
Neate had barely reached the age of 22. Educated at the school
at Castle Combe and later a member of the church choir, he left
home some years ago and was apprenticed to a motor tyre manufacturing
company in Birmingham. But his liking was the sea and five years
ago he joined the Royal Marines. He served for some time at Deal
and had as a non commissioned officer officer, Sgt TJ Ball of
Corsham. Later he went to the North Sea and then for some time
was stationed in the Orkney Isles. He was home on leave about
six weeks ago, returning to duty on March 27th. Soon after the
attack on Zeebrugge was arranged. Cpl Neate was one of the volunteers
in that hazardous undertaking. When the world was informed of
the splendid account of our men on that occasion, the news was
conveyed to Mrs Short as to many other proud though heartbroken
mothers that her son was among those who had given their lives
in their country’s cause. It was intimated by the authorities
that I t would be possible for the body of Cpl Neate to be sent
home for internment and through the good offices of the mayor,
this was accomplished. The body returning to Chippenham on Sunday
afternoon (28 April). The coffin covered with the Union Jack,
was placed on a bier and conveyed from the station to the mother’s
home in Englands. Four wounded soldiers from the Red Cross Hospital
accompanied the removal to the house. The arrival at the station
coincided with the return there for entraining of the Volunteers
who had been engaged in that alien drill at Westmead and as the
coffin was conveyed from the station It passed in front of the
men who formed up and came to the present. A similar honour was
paid by the Volunteers met with passing through the town.
funeral took place on Tuesday (30 April) and prior to the internment
at Castle Combe, a service was held at the Chippenham Parish church.
The vicar officiated and with the junior members of the choir
met the cortege at the west door of the church. The coffin was
carried by wounded soldiers from the Red Cross Hospital under
the command of Sgt Wilson. The congregation included the Mayor
and members of the corporation and also many towns’ people.
Castle Combe, there was a large assembly of villagers and black
curtains were drawn at every house approaching the church. Chippenham
Volunteers under Sgt Devonald formed the firing party. They were
formed up and came to the present as the coffin was placed in
the grave, which had been dug under a stately Yew tree in the
church yard. The Rev FKL Appleyard officiated at the burial. After
the service, three volleys were fired and Bugler L Wright sounded
the Last Post. Amongst the mourners was Lt Cdr Watkins DSO.
Times 4 May 1918
Short tenders heartfelt thanks to all kind friends for their messages
of loving sympathy with her and family in their sad bereavement.
Times 4 May 1918.
Town Council, Monthly Meeting Tuesday 7th May 1918
Mayor referring to the attack on April 23rd said the council would,
he was sure, be proud to know that Chippenham was represented
in that gallant exploit, though he regretted to add that the lad
to whom he refereed, Corp RH Neate had lost his life in the venture.
The town had an opportunity of honouring the memory of the deceased
as the body had been brought home and interred at Castle Combe,
where the residents paid every respect and it was pleasing to
hear from the villagers that Corp Neate had worthily lived up
to the good opinion formed of him as a lad (hear hear).
Times 11 May 1918
to Zeebrugge Hero
parishioners have subscribed for and erected in the churchyard
a memorial stone over the grave of L/Cpl Richard Neate RMLI who
was killed in the attack on Zeebrugge on April 23rd.
Times 1 June 1918
ever loving memory of Cpl Richard (Richie) Neate of HMS Vindictive
who gave his life in the exploit of the navy in it’s attack
on Zeebrugge on April 23rd 1918 aged 22 years.
all the loss and time with Christ the well earned rest,
cross of death attained, in deeds of simple duty done:
in our souls we know that nothing more could e’er more given
equal that which death for thee has won.
his sorrowing Mother
70 Woodlane, Chippenham
Times 23 April 1919