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Neil was one of twin sons born in 1898 to Finlay MacKinnon and Mary MacLeod of Quay. In 1900 his father, who had been grieve on Borve Farm, obtained one of the new crofts in Borve - croft 1 - to which the family moved. He was a pupil at Berneray School between 1905 and 1913. Like his older brother Duncan, he served with the Royal Naval Reserves during the Great War. He was a deckhand on HMS Nairn and was killed on 8th May 1919 at the time of the Allied Intervention into the Russian Civil War.