NEILSON, James Albert
(Service number 4/808)

First Rank Sapper Last Rank Sapper


Date 10 January 1891 Place of Birth Dunedin

Enlistment Information

Date 17 April 1915 Age 24
Address at Enlistment 33 Dee St, Timaru
Occupation Cycle mechanic
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status single
Next of Kin Robert Neilson (father), Queens Drive, Musselburgh, Dunedin
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Fair complexion, grey eyes, dark brown hair

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 4th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship NZ Field Engineers
Date 17 April 1915
Transport Willochra or Knight Templar or Waitomo
Embarked From Wellington Destination Gallipoli
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Gallipoli
Service Medals British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914-1915 Star
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 26 May 1916 Reason Debility & cardiac irregularity - permanently unfit, struck off strength

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Cycle mechanic


Date 6 July 1964 Age 73
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Albert Neilson was born in Dunedin 10 January 1891, the son of Robert Neilson and Eliza (nee Cuttle) of Queen’s Drive, Musselburgh.

James was a cycle mechanic upon enlistment, living at 33 Dee St, Timaru and working for Brehaut Bros, Timaru. He was described as 5t 9in, 140lbs with fair hair, grey eyes and dark brown hair, and Anglican. He was attested as a sapper with 4th Reinforcements NZ Field Engineers, embarking at Wellington 17 April 1915 bound for Gallipoli. He was discharged permanently unfit for further war service in December 1915, suffering from debility and cardiac irregularity after approximately eight months service overseas. He had served 1 year 107 days in total and was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914-1915 Star for his service.

Bert Neilson continued to work as a cycle mechanic after the war. He married Idalene Bell Craigie on 28 May 1917, in Dunedin, and the couple had five children born in Timaru: Tom, Dorothy Vera, Roma Eileen, Joyce Isobel, and Robert John. He died in Timaru 6 July 1964.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database [August 2021]; Assorted records at [August 2021]; NZBMD; Wilson Collection

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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