He was the second son of William and Clare Neely, of Ruxley House, Widmore Road, Bromley. His brother Clive William Neely also fell in World War 1 in Basra.
Hugh was educated at Quernmore School, Lancing College and then to Rouen. He entered the Medical School at Guy’s hospital where he took the Licentiate in Dental Surgery. He was noted as being a clever and able student. He then went on to start a dental practice at Southampton.
Hugh was also a first-class sportsman, having played soccer for his hospital and rugby for the Southampton Trojans. He was adept in many fields of sport. Prior to signing up, he had been an enthusiastic member of the Artists Corps, before resigning and going to Southampton.
He died on the 25th April 1915, aged 26, in a partially ruined village church near the billets near Ypres, thinking of his men.
A Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul was said for him on 7th May, 1915 at St Joseph’s Bromley (Bromley & District Times, 7th May 1917, pages 7 & 12).
His name is listed in the Quernmore School’s Roll of Honour, on the memorial tablet at St John’s Church, Bromley and Bromley War Memorial.
One of the 1166 casualties buried at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His grave stone is inscribed with the words “OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR HIS SOUL R.I.P.”
Researched using www.militaryancestors.co.uk and www.cwgc.org