Name: Peter Neilson


Birth Date: 1891 Where: Clermont, Queensland
Died: Where:
Place of Enlistment: Mt Morgan, Queensland Age: 23
Serial Number: 389 Battalion: 26th
Rank on Enlistment: Private Rank on Discharge/Death: Sergeant

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal, Military Medal, Distinguished Conduct Medal


Photograph Neilson

Service Details:



13 April

1915                      Enlisted

4 September

1915                      Embarked For Gallipoli

9 January

1916                      Alexandria, Egypt

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

29 July – 27 Aug.

1916                      Pozieres (Sausage Valley)

4 August

1916                      Pozieres

6 September

1916                      Belgium


1916                      Ypres and Dernacourt

3 November

1916                      Battle of Ancres Heights & Fricourt


1917                      Warlencourt


1917                      Attack on Malt Trench

1 March

1917                      Recommended Military Medal


1917                      Battle of Bullecourt (Hindenburg Line)


1917                      Bapaume


1917                      Cassel

18 September

1917                      Ypres

30 September

1917                      Promoted Sergeant

1 April

1918                      Returned to Battalion

7 April

1918                      Dernacourt

20 April

1918                      Ville Sur-Ancre


1918                      Morlancourt

27 June

1918                      Villers-Bretonneux

8 August

1918                      Battle of Amiens

29 August

1918                      Somme

2 Sept

1918                      Mont St. Quentin

2 Sept

1918                      Wounded, Recommended DCM

11 November

1918                      Armistice

18 December

1918                      Retuned to Australia

11 April

1919                      Discharged





Biographical Details:

Peter Neilson was born to Olen Marie Polsen and Peter Neilson in Clermont, Queensland, in 1891. It is not known if he had other family.
When he enlisted in 1915 Peter gave his calling as Miner.
With the other originals of the 26th Battalion Peter sailed to Egypt for further training, and then deployed at Gallipoli in September 1915.
During the Trench Raid, Peter was a member of the Left Blocking Party. An exemplary soldier he was eventually promoted to Sergeant. On the way Peter was recommended for the Military Medal (MM):
'For conspicuous bravery in action during the attack on Malt Trench North of Warlencourt when he showed great initiative and resourcefulness in handling his Lewis Gun team.'
Date of Recommendation: 11th  March 1917 .
During that action Albert Borella, who later in the war was awarded the VC, was also recommended for the MM
.In September 1918 Peter was wounded at Mont St. Quentin. Because of his action on that day he was recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM):
'During the attack east of Mont St. Quentin, on the 2 September 1918, the left flank was held up by heavy machine gun fire. Although slightly wounded, he rushed his platoon with great gallantry through the fire swept zone, and cleared the nest of machine guns, killing several of the gunners and causing the remainder to surrender.'
Both awards were conferred.
As a result of the wound to his thigh Peter was returned to Australia in December 1918.  He was discharged in April 1919.
Peter Neilson married Mary Elizabeth Olsen in 1923.  He is thought to have taken up farming. He died in 1971.

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 35