Neath, Richard Henry: Service no. 409316

Digitized Service Record

Source: Bruce Remembers web site.

Person Record from the Grey Roots Museum and Archives

Brothers who served in the C.E.F.:

NEATH, WILLIAM SAMUEL, reg. no. 408808 served with him in the 18th Battalion


NEATH, REUBEN, reg. no. 838559

NEATH, JAMES EDWARD, reg. no. 838230

Person Record Richard Henry Neath

NameNeath, Richard and Myrtle
OthernamesSergeant R. H. Neath
Dick Neath (D. Neath)
BornMay 18,1896/7
BirthplaceBrackley or Peterborough, England?
Places of residenceEngland, later at Owen Sound, Grey County (emigrated in 1911, at Owen Sound in time for the 1911 census)
Overseas (First World War)
Returned to Owen Sound in 1919
3rd Avenue East, Owen Sound, later at 1536 9th Ave. East
Titles & honorsOwen Sound’s Richard Neath Water Purification Plant was named after him.
Made a Life Member of the Sydenham Sportsmen Club.
FatherRichard Henry Neath (usually known as He
MotherEdith Bedding Neath
NotesThere were five brothers of the Neath family of Owen Sound, Grey County, who served in the First World War. There was also one more brother, John (Jack), who did not serve, and a sister, Amy. On a couple of occasions during the war, images of the five brothers were published in the Owen Sound newspapers. One article about them mentioned that the five brothers were actively serving, and that three of them had been wounded in one week.

There are images of the Neath brothers in the Grey County Archives. There is also a batch of xeroxes with their service records. There is a group photograph showing Sgt. Richard Neath posed with other sergeants in a studio.

The brothers were all English-born, and their sister, who had married in England, would join them later in Owen Sound. In 1911, Henry (Richard Henry Neath, their widowed father), and the Neath sons emigrated to Canada and joined William and Naomi Bloodworth at Owen Sound (William was the grandfather of the boys, and had emigrated in 1907). Their father, Henry Neath, worked for a while at the Eaton Malting Co. at Owen Sound, and then for Taylor & Pringle. He later moved to North Bay in 1918, where he worked for the North Bay branch of the Taylor & Pringle Co. for a while.

When he attested on September 11, 1915, at Niagara, Richard Henry Neath Jr. reported his trade working as a being a Plumber & Tinsmith. His next-of-kin was recorded as his father, at 946 4th Ave. West, Owen Sound. Richard’s regimental number was 409316, and “L Cpl” (Lance Corporal) was pencilled onto his form. He had one years previous military experience with the 31st Grey Regiment. The form recorded his birthdate as May 1, 1897. His birthplace is very hard to read, perhaps is Flelton, Hundingtonshire?

During the First World War, five of the six Neath brothers were serving. In June, 1918, their father passed away at North Bay. A September 13, 1918 article mentioned that Richard H. Neath had been gassed in France, and two of his brothers had been wounded. Richard H. Neath, who had enlisted with the 37th Battalion, had fought for nearly three years, and then the previous April had gone to London and then to the United States for a time to train men, but was recalled eventually to the Front in France. Fortunately he survived, as did his brothers.

He returned to Canada in 19__ (1919?)

In 1923, Richard Neath was working for the T. I. Thomson Limited hardware store at Owen Sound. Hardware stores used to have tinsmithing and plumbing items.

Myrtle Beatrice Fleming married Richard Henry “Dick” Neath on September 3, 1924 at Owen Sound, Grey County.

The Neath-Fleming wedding was reported in the Owen Sound newspaper on Sept. 4, 1924:
“A charming early autumn wedding took place on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at high noon at Division Street Presbyterian Church manse, when Myrtle Beatrice, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Fleming, 9th Ave. East, became the bride of Mr. Richard Neath, also of Owen Sound. The Rev. J. L. McInnis officiated.
The bride wore a becoming gown of chenille in shades of cocoa and brown. She wore a smart hat to match and carried a shower bouquet of buttercup roses and valley lilies. She was attended by her sister, Miss Milda Fleming, who was bridesmaid, wearing a gown of powder blue silk crepe, a hat to match, and a bouquet of roses. Mr. Richard Thompson supported the groom.
Following the ceremony the bridal party and guests to the number of about 12 were entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Hall, 4th Ave. east. A wedding dinner was served at a lovely table, centered with the bride’s cake, and adorned with pink roses and smilax. The assistants at the table were Miss Isabel Hall, Miss Mary White and Miss Marie White.
Later, Mr. and Mrs. Neath left by motor on a honeymoon trip for the United States. The bride wore going away a suit of caramel cloth and a hat to match. On their return, the young couple will take up residence in Owen Sound on 3rd Avenue east.”

In the 1920s, Richard Neath (and his brother Reuben Neath) were soccer players. They both played with the Crescent Club Soccer Club in Owen Sound. Richard won some awards for his soccer-playing.

Richard H. Neath also was a member of the Sydenham Sportsmen Club, and the North Star Masonic Lodge. He also was a “Past Grand” of the Home Lodge of the I.O.O.F.

Myrtle Neath enjoyed collecting international dolls.

Mr. Neath later had the water purification plant at Owen Sound named after him, in 1969. This facility was officially opened on June 18, 1969. There are some archival items pertaining to this opening, and the scissors that Mr. Neath used to cut the ribbon at the opening are now in the Grey Roots collection.

Mr. and Mrs. Neath resided at 1536 9th Ave. East. Myrtle Neath passed away at Owen Sound on November 30, 1981, and Mr. Neath passed away on Sept. 19, 1985. They are buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound.
OccupationVeteran of the First World War (37th Battalion, also 18th Battalion and 4th Brigade Trench Mortar Battalion)
Soccer Player (1920s), Crescent Club Member
Sydenham Sportsmen Club
North Star Masonic Lodge
I.O.O.F. (Home Lodge)
T. I. Thomson Ltd. store employee (c. 1923)
Owen Sound Waterworks employee?
Sons of England Member?
Branch 6 Royal Canadian Legion (Owen Sound)
Publications“Three Wounded in Neath Family: Out of Five Brothers in Active Service, Three Have Been Wounded in a Week”, OWEN SOUND SUN-TIMES, Sept. 13, 1918.
RelationshipsGrand-daughter: Patricia Brown (of Owen Sound)
Sister: Amy Neath (m. _____(Geo. Fiske?) of England, and m. Walter Warren of Owen Sound)
Brother: Sgt.-Major William Samuel Neath b. 1889
Brother: William Gladstone (Glad) Neath b. 1892-d. 1956
Brother: Sgt. James Edward Neath (b. Aug. 2, 1887) m. to Kate _____
Brother: Sgt. Reuben Neath (b. 1894)
Brother: Transville? Neath b. Dec. 1899 (John “Jack” Neath? )
The Neath family attended St. George’s Anglican Church in Owen Sound.
SpouseMyrtle Beatrice Fleming, m. September 3, 1924
ChildrenPhyllis Neath m. Elmer Brown
Photo by Bruce Nuckowski via Find-A-Grave. Source: from the Sun Times newspaper Saturday,Nov 9th 2013 Remembrance Day edition.His picture is there as a young soldier.

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