Dedication to: Mac McNeill 1941/42

It is with sadness and deep regret of the passing of,

Mac McNeill – Indefatigable 1941/42

Died on 18th October 2014

Mac McNeill 1941_42 BOA70 26052013 (7)

      BOA Star BOA70 Logo

Our sincere regards and condolences goes to Mac’s wife Lille and family.

Ian Parr 74/75 presented Mac with his 2014 reunion / 150th anniversary first prize at home on June 20th.  Ian went on to say, ‘Mac received his raffle prize with great pride, though not in the best of health Mac made us very welcome and shared his warm humour.’

Mac McNeill 1941_42 receiving the 2014 1st Prize (1)   2014 150th Badge Mac McNeill 1941_42 receiving the 2014 1st Prize (2)

Mac’s memories of the old school and the association were truly Indefatigable, Mac was one of our founding members and a great friend of many Indefatigable Old Boys.

Mac sums up the IOBA, in his own words;
Watch Mac McNeill 1941/42: (within 9:49 – 10:33) at the 2013 IOBA 30th reunion.
The 30th Indefatigable Old Boys Annual Reunion 360p

Victory at last: Medal honour for hero sailor 

May 05, 2013

01 Mac McNeill 1941 42Mac’ completed two treacherous trips across the Arctic Ocean guarding convey ships taking vital supplies to the Russian Eastern Front during the Second World War.

The Arctic Convoys – trips Sir Winston Churchill called ‘the worst routes in the world’ the lives of more than 3,000 Royal Navy personnel and merchant seamen between 1941 and 1945.  Mac, completed two convoy missions in 1944 on board aircraft carrier HMS Furious and on the battleship HMS Rodney.

Mac’s route took him from Loch Ewe in Scotland to Murmansk in Russia – through fields of German U-boats and planes flying overhead. It took about eight or nine days to get there, then the same time to get back again” .

“We had to zig-zag to be safer. Speaking as a kid of 17 by that time it was exciting, but it was frightening. You did not know what you were getting into until you were there.”

02 Mac McNeill 1941 42Campaigners fought a long battle for recognition and Prime Minister David Cameron announced the Arctic Star Medal in December 2012.

Born in Salford and he joined the Royal Navy aged 15 after leaving the Indefatigable, said: “It has been a long wait, but it is worth the wait. It is a great honour and I pay tribute to those who lost their lives.”   He was a great-grandfather of eight and was proud of being recognised for his service – Mac paid tribute to the many sailors who are not here to be honoured in person.

Arctic Convoy veteran dies days after being honoured in hospital bed for wartime bravery

Oct 21, 2014

Mac McNeill passed away less than a week after being presented with the Ushakov medal by Russian officials in a private ceremony.

03 Mac McNeill 1941 42Mac died on Saturday 18th October 2014 aged 88.

Arctic Convoy veteran died five days after being decorated in his hospital bed for death-defying missions to protect vital supplies during World War Two.

His Ushakov medal marked 69 years since the war ended, after British defence chiefs agreed to honour the thousands who risked their lives in freezing Arctic convoys.

The new Arctic Star medal was introduced last year, and the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall marked the moment veterans were officially allowed to take medals from Russia.

All donations to the funeral directors: S Wellens 121 Long Street, Middleton Manchester M24 6DL so that can be sent in one lump sum with Mac’s name on it: Help for Heroes

13/11/2014: 150 turn out for funeral of Arctic Convoy hero Mac.

Mac coffin is carried into church  Mac with his wife Lille

Mac coffin is carried into church.                         Mac with his wife Lille.

IOBA Memebers present: Indefatigable Standard Bearer: Marc Hardman 1961, Tom Keyes 63/64, Tony Eastham 75/76, Millie Evans (Derek Evans. 41/42), Steve Owen 78/79 & Steve Humphries 75/76.

With great sadness – RIP Mac.
Steve Humphries 75/76.
Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives
© 2014

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