John Hunter (Jock) NEILSON


NEILSON, John Hunter

Service Number: 6831
Enlisted: 26 October 1916, Newcastle, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mount Kembla, New South Wales, 15 September 1890
Home Town: West Wallsend, Lake Macquarie Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Minmi Public School
Occupation: Locomotive Engine Driver
Died: Killed in Action, Passchendale, France, 10 October 1917, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Birr Cross Roads Cemetery
Originally noted as no known grave, his name was commemorated on Panel 7 of the Menin Gate Memorial. A re-dedication service was held 20 September 2015 at the Birr Cross Roads Cemetery, Belgium, where he is now buried in Plot IV; Row E; Grave 11.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)*
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World War 1 Service

26 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Newcastle, New South Wales
17 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 6831, 8th Infantry Battalion, SS Port Napier, Sydney
17 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6831, 8th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6831, 8th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

Killed in Action

October 17th, 1918.

Mrs. G.M. Jackson.,
Plymouth. Devon.

Dear Madam.
Your letter of 12th inst., has been forwarded to us from Carlton House Terrace for our attention.

With reference to your enquiry for - 6831 Pte. John Neilson, 8th Battalion. A.I.F. We much regret to inform you that he is now officially reported to have been “Killed in Action" on 10-10-17, having previously been reported missing on that date.

In spite of our efforts to do so we have never been able to obtain definite particulars concerning his fate, and we have now reluctantly been compelled to remove his name from our enquiry list to make room for more recent casualties.

6791 Pte. C.M. Love & 2650 Pte. W.G. Thomson of the same unit both state that they last saw Pte. Neilson badly wounded in both legs in the Ypres attack. Pte. Thomson adds that he believes he was taken by stretcher bearers to a dressing station at Westhook Ridge 3/4 mile from where he was hit. As no further information has ever been obtained concerning Pte. Neilson we fear that he must have sustained a further casualty on the way to the dressing station. Regretting we should have to forward such and news and assuring Pte. Neilson's cousin of our sincere sympathy.

Yours faithfully,

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September 2015

The final resting place of Pte John (Jock) NEILSON was previously under a headstone bearing the inscriptions “A Soldier of the Great War” in the Birr Cross Roads Cemetery, Belgium. It was identified (along with others) by researchers Andrew Pittaway and Dennis Frank of the volunteer group Fallen Diggers.

PRIOR to September 2015

War Grave Register notes: NEILSON, Pte. John, 6831. 8th Bn. 10th Oct., 1917. Age 27. Son of Alexander and Jessie Hunter Neilson, of Seaham, No. 2 Colliery, West Wallsend, Newcastle, New South Wales. Native of Mount Kembla, New South Wales.

Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

Location on the Roll of Honour
John Neilson's name is located at panel 53 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy on the plan).