Wednesday, May 26, 2010

John Scott Neil A Veteran of the Crimean War died at the Scottish Home and Was buried by the Illinois St. Andrew's Society

John Scott Neil died January 21, 1933, after being a resident of the Scottish Home for eighteen years. He was born in Glasgow in 1837 and had lived in the United States for over forty years. Funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Alfred F. Waldo of the Riverside Presbyterian church.

Rev. Waldo said the following during the service: “It is a far cry back to the Crimean War; the war of 1854-1856, between Russia on the one hand and Turkey with her allies, England, France and Sardinia on the other. Yet this man, John Scott Neil, whose obsequies we respectfully observe this morning, was in that war, a bugler boy with the 49th Highlanders which regiment he joined when a lad of about 16. Such service and such longevity combine to constitute a true distinction. So it is a distinguished man in the presence of whose mortal remains we this morning preform the last rites and perform them with respect, with reverence and with love.”

According to his own testimony, Neil fought at Sebastopol. He was wounded twice in the Crimean war and twice more in the Indian rebellion that followed. He told residents at the Home that he was nursed by Florence Nightingale in a field hospital near Sebastopol. He came to Chicago in 1893 and had been confined to bed for eight years after he suffered a broken hip. Interment was in the Saint Andrew’s grounds in Rosehill cemetery, and as a last tribute to the man whom he had long called “Grandad”, Hugh Jamieson in Highland dress, played most fittingly on the bag pipes the soldier’s farewell, “Flowers of the Forest.”

Mr. Neil is one of several veterans buried in the Society's plot, Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.

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