Arrochar Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage Group




                     Middle Part - 179 > William Murray McNeill 1890 - 1948                                                                                 | Cemetery |


The inscription reads: -



Loving Memory
William Murray
Died 7th April 1948
Aged 58 Years
Also his son
Died 13th June 1976
Aged 59 Years
Beloved Husband of
Annie Jane
Died 12th December 1999
Aged 88 Years




William McNeill    by Ruari McNeill

William McNeill was my Uncle Billy, my father's youngest
brother was born in Glasgow in 1890. He died at Glenloin Youth
Hostel, Arrochar in May 1948 from a heart attack. I remember him as
a large jovial man who allowed me to stack the shelves of the Hostel
Store and would even, on occasion, allow me to serve the
hostellers. He was a forthright and determined man, an
engineer by trade, blackballed for his trade union activities.
He had followed my father James McNeill into early
membership of the SYHA and was very pleased to become a
Warden at Glenloin Hostel; a group of small wooden
buildings that opened in 1932 and closed in 1949. It was a
mile from the village of Arrochar on Loch Long. It was used
by climbers and cyclists and was a popular hostel.
Glenloin Youth Hostel

The two obituaries reproduced here appeared in the
1948 May issues of the SYHA News Letter.

"The death of Mr William McNeill, Warden at Glenloin
Youth Hostel removes an outstanding figure from the
Glasgow District and the Association. He first served as
Warden towards the end of 1938 having previously been
active in the Association as a leader of parties of young
people. As Warden of Glen Loin for more than nine years
he carried through a difficult and sometimes exacting task
arising from the many vicissitudes of hostel organisation in the
Arrochar area. including numerous structural alterations and
additions to the hostel itself, war-time adventures with
evacuees, forestry and other workers, alternating periods of
exceptional activity arising from the closing of Ardgarten
Hostel and many other difficulties too numerous to mention.
A man of forthright opinions and a stalwart of the
Warden's Association he was a man to be reckoned with in
debate- Those who only knew of him, however, from his
thunderous speeches at Annual District Meetings remained
entirely unaware of his helpful, humorous and persuasive
advice and assistance to young members. He preserved a
strict impartiality in the common room and took the greatest
pains to ensure that the hostel stoves were used with the
greatest efficiency for the benefit of members. At sing-songs
and other common room events this sturdy fighter unbent to
oblige the company with 'Mary of Argyll' but his rendering,
alas, will be heard no more."

The above was followed by a personal appreciation by
W.B.M. who wrote:-
"His many friends will recall the happy atmosphere that
Bill specialised in promoting during Saturday night sing-songs
and the encouragement he gave to youngsters to exercise
their vocal qualities. He held strong opinions on the
essentials required for youth leadership and coupled with his
faith in the moral benefits of youth hostelling he was equally
strong in his desire that all members should be conscious of
its full meaning and importance.

At all times he was a man of contact, impatient for the
rectification of anything that he considered in the light of
injustice... He lacked what he termed a school-tie education
but the evidence of his search for knowledge was to be found
on the overloaded book shelves of his limited quarters at Glenloin.
In friendship he was wholly genuine and as one
privileged in that respect 1 knew just how big his heart could be."

There were many men like my Uncle who both worked
for the SYHA and were members. They were the backbone
of the Association and they laid firm foundations for the


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