Herbert Charles Neal
July 21, 2015
NEAL, Herbert Charles- – – SPC ?
DoB:- – c1888, Avoca, near Mildura, VIC
Father:- – Herbert Neal
Mother:- – Agnes, nee McKay
Service No:- 698
Rank:- – Corporal, later Sergeant
Unit:- – 8th Battalion
Herbert Charles Neal enlisted on 19 August 1914, aged 25 years and nine months. He was a single man who worked as a Labourer. He was five feet, ten and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and fair hair. It was also noted on his attestation papers that he had a tattoo on his left arm of the letters M.W. He nominated his cousin, J M Cudmore of Mildura as his next of kin.
Corporal Neal embarked from Melbourne aboard the Benalla on 19 October 1914, with the first group of Australian soldiers to leave for overseas service in WWI. He disembarked in Egypt, and after undergoing training and being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, embarked from Alexandria to the Turkish Peninsula on 5 April 1915.
Sergeant Neal was among the first battalion of troops to land at Gallipoli on the morning of 25 April 1915. He served for several months before being admitted to the 2nd Field Ambulance at Anzac Cove on 24 August suffering from a swollen leg. The following day he was transferred to Alexandria, aboard hospital ship Nile, with the swollen leg as well as a bout of typhus. He was admitted to hospital at Heliopolis upon arrival in Egypt. After one month, he was transferred to convalescent camp with thrombosis.
On 20 October 1915, Sergeant Neal was invalided back to Australia aboard the Kanowna, departing from Port Said. He disembarked from Melbourne, and was discharged as medically unfit on 16 February 1916. His disability attributed to thrombosis in his left femoral vein causing swelling and difficulty in walking.
Back in Australia, Herbert Neal returned to Mildura. In 1919 he married Olive Thomson, and they lived in Mildura, with Herbert working as a horticulturalist. Herbert and Olive had one daughter, Honor Doreen.
Herbert died on 17 October 1971, aged 84 years. He was buried at the Merbein Cemetery.