Service Number: 458
Enlisted: 22 March 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 24th Infantry Battalion
Born: Parkside, South Australia , 1892
Home Town: Parkside, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: East Adelaide Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Share Broker
Died: disease, France , 15 November 1918
Cemetery: Abbeville Communal Cemetery
Plot V, Row C, Grave No. 41
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Norwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

22 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, 458
10 May 1915: Involvement Private, 458, 24th Infantry Battalion
10 May 1915: Embarked Private, 458, 24th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
10 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 458

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Life before the war

George Abia Neville was born in Parkside, South Australia in 1892.

George graduated from East Adelaide Public school, in South Australia. He was of a bright and cheerful disposition, always seeking other’s good. Before enlisting George worked as a share broker in Adelaide. Prior to leaving for Melbourne he was a prominent worker of the Norwood church of Christ, and was religious to the church of England.

Especially did he interest itself about the young lads, he was a footballer, cricketer, and an all - round athlete. He had big interest in a varieties of different sports. George lived with his mother, Mrs Harriet Neville in Hall street, Norwood South Australia.

Life in Service

George enlisted on the 22nd of March 1915, when he was 23 of age. He left Melbourne on the 10th of May 1915 for embarkation, went on broad HMAT A38 Ulysses and was abroad the Southland when he was torpedoed. His roll title was 21st Infantry battalion, with embarkation roll number of 23/38/1. The 21st infantry battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian army. It was formed as part of of the 6th Brigade, it had fought during the Gallipoli campaign and on the western front and the soldiers including George who was in the 21st battalion also had the distinction of being the last to pull back when the Australian corps was withdrawn from the line.

George was raised at Broadmeadows, Victoria, in February 1915. After training at Broadmeadows and Seymour camps in Victoria, the battalion left for Egypt. Arriving their in June, they undertook further training before being dispatched as reinforcements to Gallipoli in late August. On the way of the battalions transport, George and other soldiers was torpedoed by German submarine UB-14 near Lemos and the passengers and crew were forced to abandon ship.

On the 7th of September, the 21st battalion eventually arrived at Anzac cove. They then overtook mainly defensive duties along the Australian line until December 1915, when they were evacuated from Gallipoli after the decision was made to withdraw allied forces from the Peninsula.

Afterwards George contracted typhoid fever, and was in Malta hospital for 10 weeks. Upon recovery he rejoined to battalion as a machine gunner in Gallipoli, and afterwards saw service in France. He was in the B company, rank from nominal roll was Private, and with a unit roll as 2nd machine gun battalion.

 George wrote a letter to his mother at Hall street, Norwood, by the last mail, he expressed his feelings of to see her once again, the letter also included: “ You would not have me other than here, as this is a man's job, and you taught me always to play the man. All I am to you I owe, but If God wills it I shall see you again before long.”

During his service abroad he had been extremely fortunate as regarded injuries, only twice of the injuries he had have been slightly wounded.

Early in September, he paid a short visit to Scotland and to relatives in South of England. At one time he was in the office of Messers D. & J. fowler, but was left to go to Messers. Afterwards George was in the office of Malcolm Reid & Co.

He stayed in the Australian Auxiliary hospital for five days, from 16th of august to 20th of august 1918. George died of bronchial pneumonia on 15th of November 1918 in France at the 3rd Australian General Hospital, Brighton in England. He was associated in Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. George’s cemetery is located at Abbeville, communal cemetery Extension, Abbeville, Picardie, in France. Grave number V.C 41.


 Image of George Neville from newspaper