Also on Castle Combe Memorial
Son of Annie Taylor Short (formerly Neate), of 100, Wood Lane,
Chippenham, and the late Richard Neate. Born at Castle Combe.
1901 Census shows
Upper Coombe (sic)
Richard Neate 43 Occupation - Agricultural Labourer Born - Castle Coombe
Ann Tayer Neate 29 Occupation - Dressmaker Born - Castle Coombe
Richard Henry Reginald Neate 5 Born - Castle Coombe
Among 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.
Cpl Neate had barley 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
The 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.
At 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.
Wilts Times 4 May 1918
Mrs Short tenders heartfelt thanks to all kind friends for their
messages of loving sympathy with her and family in their sad bereavement.
Kinfauna, Englands, Chippenham.
Wilts Times 4 May 1918.
Chippenham Town Council, Monthly Meeting Tuesday 7th May 1918
A Zeebrugge Hero
The 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).
Wilts Times 11 May 1918
Memorial to Zeebrugge Hero
The 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.
Wilts Times 1 June 1918
In 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.
Our all the loss and time with Christ the well earned rest,
Though cross of death attained, in deeds of simple duty done:
Deep in our souls we know that nothing more could e’er more given
Can equal that which death for thee has won.
From his sorrowing Mother
Kinfauna, 70 Woodlane, Chippenham
Wilts Times 23 April 1919