The AIF Project


Regimental number1216
Place of birthYstad, Sweden
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPost Office Hotel, Tamworth, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35
Height5' 5.5"
Weight139 lbs
Next of kinFather, H Nilsson, Upstad, Sweden
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 January 1916
Place of enlistmentArmidale, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name33rd Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 June 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 4 May 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Killed in action, 8 June 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2010308, 1088 Pte J.H. CAMERON, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, 1st City of London Military Hospital, Clapton, London SE, England), 20 September 1917: 'I knew Nilsson, and I know he was buried just near Ploeg Street wood (sic), by Frissel who has since been killed.'

Second statement, Captain J.W. SHREEVE, 33rd Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 19 October 1917: I saw Nilsson buried on or before 10 June in the cemetery in Ploegsteert Wood. Grave no doubt registered now.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, NILSSON Neil
Red Cross File No 2010308

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