311349 Lt William Walter NEILSON, 1st Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: 02/04/1945,

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by HHAlloway, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Evening everyone,

    Last time I posted a question on this site I was overwhelmed by the response. Thanks to the advice given I was not only able to piece together the last days of the Officer concerned but able to source a photograph as well. Icing on the cake.

    So, here we go again...with fingers crossed.

    Lt William Walter Neilson was born 29 Oct 1924 in Edinburgh. Originally from Ayr his family moved back there sometime in the 1930's. 'Wattie's' records show that he joined in Ayr and became a Lt, Service No. 311349, in the 1st Btn A &SH. He was reported wounded on the 13 Sep 1944 whilst serving in Italy and then again on the 10 Apr 1945 when he was recorded as being 'dangerously ill'. He died on the 12 Apr 1945, aged 20yrs, and is buried in Ravenna War Cemetery, Italy (IC3). His parents , Walter Patrick and Jessie Isobel Helen requested that the epitaph "Wattie' Always in our hearts be inscribed on his grave marker.

    Can anyone shed any light on any aspect of this young man's life? His death was not even reported in the local papers so I am at a loss. Any help or advice gratefully received.

    Thank you.
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    As Tony suggests

    Service Number 311349

    Died 12/04/1945

    Aged 20

    1st Bn.
    Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

    Son of Walter Patrick and Jessie Isobel Helen Neilson, of Eglinton, Ayrshire.

    ozzy16 and Tony56 like this.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  5. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Hi there,
    Thanks for that. Yes, as a result of a response to a previous question I know that I could write away for a copy of his Service records but at 30.00GBP a pop I thought I would try to pick your brains first! As a last resort I will dig out the cheque book!
  6. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  8. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Thank you,
    Once again I am amazed at the speed with which you are able to source the information. A lot of reading there that I have just initially skimmed. It does give me a clearer picture as to what the 1st A&SH were doing in Italy although I still need to find out about April 45. Looks like I may have to dust off the cheque book.
    Thanks for your help though. You will be glad to hear that he is the last young man on our war memorial to be researched!
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Well done for doing it
    The reason we say get the service records because it is personal to each individual and the only way you get that is via the official route.

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  10. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Thanks - and I think in this young man's case I am going to have to do just that. There is nothing locally regarding him at all. Even the local press didn't report his death which is very sad indeed.

    Thank you for all your help - I really appreciate it.
    Best wishes,
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    I have a lot of detail and the supporting mapping for 1 A&SH's time at the Fourth Battle of Monte Cassino if you establish from his Service Record that he was in the Battalion at the time.

    I can put you in touch with the son of the Commanding Officer Lt Col Freddie Graham during the Battalion's time in Italy if that helps.

    Are you related to Wattie?


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  12. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member



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  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From the battalions 1943 war diary I can tell you he joined the battalion after 4th Jan 1944.
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  14. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Apologies for the delay in responding.

    I have completed the paperwork to apply for Wattie's Service Record. Hopefully from that I will be able to ascertain where he was and when. If you don't mind may I come back to you once I have received the documentation for any clarification that may be needed?

    I am not related to Wattie. I have been researching those named on our local war memorial and on family grave markers in our churchyard. Wattie is the last one and the most challenging. He was from a local family, is named with them on the family grave yet seems to have disappeared from memory. Unlike the others nothing regarding his death was mentioned in the local press. Although his family appear on a family tree on Ancestry Wattie does not. When I contacted them it transpired that they were a different branch of the family and knew next to nothing about him, in one case he is absent all together. He didn't have very long on this earth to leave much of a footprint but I would just like to find out something about him apart from where and when he was born and his death.

    As ever I am grateful for this site's help.

    Thank you.
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  15. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Thank you for sight of this. I knew he was reported 'dangerously ill' on the 10 April 1945 before his death on the 12th. What does the D.N.R reference indicate? As far as I am aware it's Do Not Resuscitate but it surely means something difficult in this context. Also do you know what the W/Lt means? As far as I'm aware he was made Substansive 2nd Lt on 25 Feb 1944.
  16. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Thank you so much.

    I have completed the paperwork to request his Service Record. I would certainly be interested to read the Battalion's War Diary but think it would probably be best to wait until I receive that information so I can pinpoint what dates I need.

    If he joined the 1st after 4th Jan 1944 then he must have been with them for 15 months before his death. That would also have made him 19yrs old so they could have been his one and only unit. I know that he was wounded on the 13 Sep 1944 and obviously again in April 1945. Hopefully his Service Record will clarify these points.

    Thanks again.
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  17. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Date Not Reported.
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  18. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    London Gazette issue dated 21st April 1944 has cadet 311349 William Walter Neilson (A&SH) promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 25th February 1944.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  19. HHAlloway

    HHAlloway Member

    Thank you - that's what I thought too but it's always great to have confirmation on these things!

    BTW I like your verse Keep 'em Moving
  20. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    If he was Gazetted 2Lt on 21 Apr 44, I doubt that he would have reached 1 A&SH in time for the start of the Fourth Battle of Cassino on 11 May 44.


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