Serial Number: 42877
Royal Flying Corps Trade: Unknown, possibly a woodwork trade
Date of Enlistment: 1916
Date of Demob:
Rank Achieved: Sergeant
Date of Birth: 7th of May 1887, at Kilwining, Scotland
Personal Details: Bill was the son of John and Mary Ann Fleming Meanie, of Kilwining, Scotland. Upon leaving school he had become a cabinet-maker, before joining the Royal Flying Corps in World War One.
Bill Meanie married Miss Jeanie Stuart at Paisley in Scotland on the 13th of July, 1913. The couple emigrated to New Zealand aboard the SS Mahana in May, 1920, settling for six months at Devonport, before moving to Cambridge.
Once in Cambridge, Bill continued to use his prewar woodworking skills as a joiner, with the furnishing firm of Hastie, Simmonds and Newman, on the corner of Duke and Victoria Streets. He was with this company for nine months before moving on in 1921 to join the staff of Speight, Pearce, Nickle, Davys, Ltd, or S.P.N.D.
S.P.N.D was a building supply department store that is now Benchmark, and Bill worked as a valued member for 26 years. He worked his way up to become the foreman of the joinery department. When he retired from there in 1947, a newspaper report in the Waikato Independent stated that Bill was "popular and almost universally known" as well as "a true and faithful employee."
Bill had also been a member of the Cambridge Municipal Band, becoming Bandmaster for 14 years. He was also a staunch member of the Cambridge Returned Soldiers Association. He was a member of the Cambridge Orphans Club and also enjoyed playing lawn bowls for, first, the Cambridge Bowling Club, then later the Central Bowling Club, also in Cambridge.He was a valued executive of the latter club and also became their selector.
Another sport Bill was extremely keen to support was Cambridge rugby, despite himself having been a keen soccer player in the days before he moved to the town.
Bill's obituary stated, "The late Mr. Meanie was the possessor of a lovable nature and he was known everywhere for his integrity." He had been in declining health for two years before his death. As well as being survived by his wife Jeanie Meanie, he also had four children, sons John, James and William Meanie, and daughter Mrs Mary Bougen.
Service Details: Bill joined the Royal Flying Corp direct from civilian life in 1916. It is not yet known what his trade was, or any other details of his service.
Date of Death : 12th of July 1953, aged 66
Buried: Cambridge Returned Services Association Lawn Cemetery, Hautapu, Cambridge
Connection with Cambridge: Bill Meanie moved to Cambridge in 1920 or early 1921, from Devonport, Auckland, and lived here till his death
Thanks to the staff of the Cambridge Museum, and to Errol Martyn for assistance in researching Bill Meanie's RFC career so far