John and Neil McLean of Lassodie

David Allan writes,

“Reading your article on the lost village of Lassodie, it might be of interest to note that  the four 2nd World War names on the Lassodie War Memorial  include brothers Private John McLean (Northamptonshire Regiment) and AB Neil McLean Royal Navy.  They were the sons of Neil McLean and his wife Helen Ross of Lassodie.  That of course means they were the uncles of Sir Sean Connery.

John McLean was born in Kirkcaldy while Neil was born in Kennoway.  Their sister Effie, who was Sean Connery’s mother, was born in Dysart.  Eventually the family settled in Lassodie.  John died on active service in Italy on 16th December 1944 at the age of 39 and is buried in Rome War Cemetery.  His brother’s death had already occurred earlier that same year.  Neil served on HMS Ingelfield, a Destroyer Flotilla Leader.   On 15 February 1944, she escorted an ammunition ship from Naples to Anzio.  She then took up a defensive position to protect the anchorage in Anzio.  She was in this capacity for ten days before sustaining a direct hit by a Henschel Hs 293 glider bomb launched by a German aeroplane during a dusk attack and was sunk with the loss of 35 lives.  157 survivors were rescued and returned to the United Kingdom.  Neil McLean was one of the lives lost.  He has no known grave but is also commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.”