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Samuel Neilson

Date of birth: 1918
Date of death: 17.9.1944
Area: Knottingley
Regiment: Royal Ulster Rifles
Family information: Son of Robert Henry Neilson and Ada nee Thorpe
Rank: Rifleman
Service number: 1511645

War Service

Samuel Neilson was in the Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st Battalion London Irish Rifles, when he died on 17th September 1944 age 25. He is commemorated at the Gradara War Cemetery Italy.
In 1942 he underwent an operation but refused an offer of discharge. After rejoining his regiment, and during some heavy fighting, one of his officers was badly wounded. He volunteered to rescue the officer from behind enemy lines, and in doing so was shot and killed. His brother Harry was in Queens Own Cameron Highlanders serving in Burma, and another brother Tommy was wounded at Dunkirk. Sisters Mary and Annie (Sproston) served with ATS in Derby.
Pontefract & Castleford Express 26 October 1944 p4 (with photo)
Shortly after receiving notification that their fifth son Rifleman Samuel Neilson was presumed to have been killed in Italy, Mr & Mrs R H Neilson of 23 Spawd Bone Lane, Knottingley, received a letter from his commanding officer conveying the sympathy of all who were his companions “during the action in which he died so gallantly. His courage and cheerfulness under fire.” said the letter “were an example to all, and he is a serious loss to the battalion. Your son was killed during the long and bitter fighting which has brought us through the mountains of the Gothic Line to the plains of Italy. I am certain that our success has brought nearer the end of this war.” Rifleman Neilson who was 26, was educated at The King’s School Pontefract, and was a keen footballer and cricketer. Before joining the Army five years ago he worked at the Knottingley Chemical Works. Two brothers Harry and Thomas are in the Army; and two sisters Mary and Annie are in the ATS.”

Family Life

Samuel was born in the fourth quarter of 1918 and his birth was registered at Pontefract. He was the son of Robert Henry Neilson and Ada (nee Thorpe) who had married in the third quarter of 1908 and their marriage was registered at Pontefract.
Samuel was educated at Kings School Pontefract and after leaving became an apprentice in laboratory at the Chemical Works.

a brick structure on the side of the hill with, at the bottom, surrounded by trees is the white cross of sacrifice Gradara War Cemetery

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