Distinguished Service Order Document to Major William Neilson
Distinguished Service Order Document (signed George V, embossed seal of same, issued to "William Neilson, Esquire. Major in the Forces of Our Dominion of Canada" and issued at St. James on the "Third day of June 1918 in the Ninth Year of Our Reign", signed by "Milner" (Principal Secretary of State), addressed at the lower left "Major W. Neilson, 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry", framed, 217 mm x 345 mm, string hanger). Accompanied by Dog Tag (in aluminum, stamped "CAPT NEILSON W" on obverse and "12 CANADIANS INF EDGE" on reverse, 38.3 mm, on neck string); and wristband (in sterling silver, engraved "MAJOR E. NEILSON C.E. 54th CANADIAN BATTn", marked STERLING SILVER and maker marked "ASPREY LONDON" on reverse, 32.6 mm, on adjustable leather strap), plus copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records and Index Cards. Footnote: Willaim Neilson was born on September 16, 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland. He signed his Attestation Paper on June 17, 1915 at Vernon Camp, British Columbia, stating that he was married, that he had had nine years previous military service as a Captain with the Highland Light Infantry and that his trade was that of Rancher. He was placed in the 54th Infantry Battalion (Kootenay Battalion). The Battalion embarked Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 22, 1915 aboard H.M.T. Saxonia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel W.M. Davis with a strength of 36 officers, including Captain Neilson and 1,111 other ranks, arriving in Plymouth, England on December 1. On May 2, 1916, Neilson was Acting Staff Captain, 11th Infantry Brigade and was soon transferred to the 12th Infantry Brigade on May 12, 1916. He was approved for overseas service in France on August 12, 1916, disembarking at Le Havre on August 14. Neilson was cited in the London Gazette of June 1, 1917, as being mentioned in despatches for Distinguished and Gallant services and devotion to duty in the field. August 8, 1917 saw him named to the rank of Temporary Major, and remain Seconded, as Major F.T. Lucas had been Killed in Action. He ceases to be Seconded to the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade on April 14, 1918, on being Seconded to the 46th Division and appointed General Staff Officer Second Grade and struck off the roll of the 54th Battalion. Neilson again was mentioned in despatches, by Sir Douglas Haig on April 7, 1918 and on an additional occasion, on May 28, 1918, as documented in the London Gazette, as was his being awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous Gallantry and Devotion to Duty in the field on June 3, 1918. He proceeded to England on April 11, 1919, where he officially retired to life in the British Isles on August 11, 1919.