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47071 Rifleman Malcolm Wright Neilson

B Company !st Battalion

3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade

7th December 1917

pw57 Rifleman Malcolm Wright

Born on 14/01/1892 in Opotiki, New Zealand.

His parents were James Neilson(03/03/1841-18/04/1908) and Margaret Warrington(1861-28/09/1936). They married in 1879. 

Malcolm had 2 brothers, Albert(09/11/1882-09/10/1927) and George James(28/10/1890-06/09/1965). He also had

4 sisters, Margaret Matilda(22/02/1880-13/03/1944),Janet Forsyth(05/01/1884-18/11/1884),

Janet Howie(10/06/1886-07/01/1891) and Agnes Nita(14/11/1897-20/05/1975).

In the 1914 NZ Electoral Roll, Malcolm was recorded as living in Thorndon, Opotiki and working as a farmer.

Malcolm married Annie Constance Healy(1893-16/06/1961) in June 1915 and they had a daughter,

Marjorie Constance(06/03/1916-05/08/1996).

Malcolm enlisted in Hamilton on 09/01/1917, prior to this he had been working as a groom. His medical was performed on the same day, details as follows; 

Apparent Age - 27 years, Height - 5ft 101/2 inches, Weight - 152lbs, Chest Measurement - Minimum - 35 inches, Maximum - 37 inches, Complexion - Dark, Colour of Eyes - Grey, Colour of Hair - Dark, Religious Profession- Presbyterian.

Is he free from haemorrhoids - states has attacks of piles.

Remarks - There is no evidence of piles on examination. He has tried to make out he had defects that did not exist.

He has sweaty feet, which are extremely dirty. He states his feet will not allow him to walk. There are no corns.  

Malcolm was posted to J Company 25th Reinforcements at Trentham Camp on 12/02/1917.

After his initial training, He was sent off to England, embarking in Wellington on 26/04/1917. His journey took nearly 2 months, before disembarking in Devonport on 20/07/1917. The same day he marched into Sling Camp, Wiltshire.

He must have been moved to Tidworth Camp at some point, as it was from here that he set out for France from on 06/09/1917. His destination was Etaples Camp in France,  which he reached 3 days later.

Malcolm joined 1st Battalion on 16/09/1917 in the field and was posted to B company.

He was killed in action on 07/12/1917.

Malcolm was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

New Zealand Herald 7 January 1918

 Neilson- On December 7 1917 killed in action in France. Malcolm Wright Neilson, the dearly loved son of the late

Mr. James Neilson and Mrs Neilson of Thorndon, Opotiki; aged 25 years and 11 months.

                Deeply Regretted.

New Zealand Herald 6 December 1918

 In Memoriam

Neilson – In loving memory of Malcolm Wright (Mally)Neilson, the dearly loved son of the late Mr. James Neilson and

Mrs Neilson of Thorndon, Opotiki, killed in action in France December 7 1917.


Blessed are they who’ve gone before,

Where joy is throned for evermore:

From every care they’ve found release.

And now they rest in God’s sweet peace.

  • Inserted by his loving mother, brother and sister.

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