Thomas Donald Neilson
From Our Contribution
Taken from 1934 Armadale AFL team photo
|Date of Birth||19 Jan 1915|
|Place of Birth||Armadale, Western Australia|
|Death||17 Jan 1999, aged 84|
|Place of Death||Armadale, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||27 years, 6 months|
|Description||5'10" (1.78m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair ; scar on left leg|
|Address||Railway parade, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Mary Neilson|
|Reg Number||W9130 & WX29941|
|Date of Enlistment||17 Dec 1941|
|Unit/Formation||16th Australian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders Regiment)|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||21 Nov 1944 ‒ 26 Nov 1944|
|Transport Details||USAT Evangaline Darwin to Jacquinot Bay, New Britain|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||14 Sep 1945 ‒ 14 Sep 1945|
|Transport Details||plane Lae, New Guinea to Brisbane|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia (medical)|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Electoral Roll entries: 1936 - 1943 in Railway parade, Armadale, shop assistant
Enlisted in the CMF on 6 Mar 1941, and was a member of the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders Regiment) based at the Melville camp. Thomas was called up for full time service on 16 Dec 1941. On 11 Mar 1942 he was found to have been AWOL from 7:00am to 1:30pm on 9 Mar 1942. Fined 4/- and forfeited 6/- for the day's pay. Soon after on 10 Apr 1942 at Childers he was appointed Lance Corporal, and 11 days later on 21 Apr 1942 Acting Corporal. From 26 until 29 Apr 1942 he was in the care of the 8th Australian Casualty Clearing Station at Helena Vale.
Thomas joined the AIF on 13 Jul 1942, and on 13 Aug 1942 he was made Lance Sergeant. From 18 Sep until 18 Oct 1942 he attended a course that he received an 83% pass on. In February 1943, along with the rest of the battalion he moved to the Northern Territory defensive line via Adelaide where they spent a fortnight before moving north. On 19 Mar 1943 they arrived in Darwin, and on 17 May his rank of Corporal was confirmed. On 24 Jul 1943 Thomas was transferred to the HQ 2nd Australian Infantry Training Brigade and on 28 Aug 1943 he was detached to the 2nd Australian Army's Training School where he participated in the Warrant Officers & NCOs Course No. 60.
On 4 Oct 1943 he rejoined the Training Brigade, remaining with them until he transferred back to the 16th Battalion on 10 Oct 1944. On 21 Nov 1944 the battalion embarked on the USAT Evangaline for Jacquinot Bay on New Britain, arriving there on 26 Nov 1944. A month later he was promoted to Acting Sergeant, with that rank being confirmed on 23 Mar 1945. On 30 Jul 1945 Tom was evacuated to the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance for treatment to dermatitis on his face, forearms and thighs. They treated him until 19 Aug 1945 when he was transferred to the 2/8th Australian General Hospital at Lae, New Guinea who treated him before forwarding him to the 2/7th Australian General Hospital on 7 Sep 1945. On 14 Sep 1945 a further change saw him prepared for the flight that day from Lae, New Guinea to Archerfield in Brisbane where he was admitted to 3rd Australian Camp Hospital. From there, commencing on 3 Oct 1945 he was placed on a succession of Ambulance Trains including the 3rd Australian Ambulance Train (NSW) and transported to the 115th Australian Base Hospital in Heidelberg arriving there on 5 Oct 1945. On 14 Oct he was entrained for Perth where on 16 Oct 1945 he entered the 110th Australian Base Hospital. On the next day he was transferred to the 75th Australian Camp Hospital in Claremont.
On 24 Oct 1945 he was well enough to be posted to the 10th Australian Garrison Battalion until 30 Nov 1945 when he was transferred to the 11th Australian Detention Barracks. On 23 Dec 1945 he was admitted to the 110th Australian Base Hospital with malaria and an infection, returning to his unit on 4 Jan 1946. Tom was discharged on 28 Mar 1946.
Married Joyce Henrietta Stalker during 1949.
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 Fourth road, Armadale, barman; 1954 - 1977 Robin Hood avenue, Armadale, shop assistant; 1977 - 1980 at 22 Werndley street, Armadale, labourer