John Lindsay Neylon
July 21, 2015
NEYLON, John Lindsay- – – SPC 1913-1914
DoB:- – 25 April 1898, Port Fairy, VIC
Father:- – Charles James Herbert Neylon
Mother:- – Laura, nee Bowfann (?)
John Neylon was a boarder at St Patrick’s. He was a good student, who creditably passed his 1913 Junior Public Service examinations in the following subjects: Algebra (Distinction) Arithmetic, Geometry, Physics, History, Latin, French (D), English (D).
The College Annual of 1916-1917 reported that:
-‘-¦ Gunner J L Neylon was a law student at the Melbourne University before he enlisted. He left Australia for Egypt in November 1915, where he completed his training. Since then he has been in action in France. He stated that he has had some miraculous escapes -“ on one occasion a shell burst on top of their gun pit, and though pieces of shell were flying in all directions, only one of the men was slightly injured. The noise was so great that all the members of the company were deaf for four or five minutes -¦’
Service No:- 6827
Rank:- – Gunner
Unit:- – 4th Field Artillery Brigade
John Neylon enlisted on 6 August 1915, at the age of 18 years and one month. He was fresh faced, with blue eyes and dark brown hair, five feet, five and three quarter inches tall. He was an unmarried law student, studying at the University of Melbourne.
Private Neylon embarked from Melbourne on 18 November 1915 aboard the Wiltshire, bound for Egypt. After several months undergoing training in Egypt, he proceeded to France, disembarking at Marseilles on 19 March 1916.
He was based mainly in France for the duration of his active service. On 26 September 1917 he was wounded in action, suffering a shell wound to his right ankle. He was transferred back to the UK for treatment of this wound and remained in England for some months.
Neylon was sick to hospital on 5 January 1918, and put in isolation due to his having contracted measles. He was charged with an offence a few weeks later on 30 January for -“
– -‘-¦ Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he, being a patient in strict isolation, absented himself from hospital without leave from 2.30pm till 4.45pm on 11/01/18. Award: Deprived 2 days’ pay -¦’
Gunner Neylon’s war record is very sparse on details for the next twelve months of his service. He returned to Australia aboard the Lancashire on 7 February 1919, and was discharged on 23 May, being medically unfit. The medical report stated that he was suffering from valvular disease of the heart, otherwise referred to as VDH Effort Syndrome. Some symptoms include shortness of breath and headaches. The doctors examining Neylon agreed that this illness was directly attributable to active service.
John Lindsay Neylon resumed his law degree at Melbourne University, qualifying as a lawyer and living for a while with his parents at 70 Finch Street, East Malvern. Sometime between 1924 and 1931 he married Sybil Dunsmure and they moved to Elsternwick for a few years, before settling at 78 Maribyrnong Road, Moonee Ponds by 1936. They had one daughter, Dierdre. John Neylon appears in the electoral rolls of 1942 in Moonee Ponds, but at some point soon after this he enlisted for active service in World War II, and served in New Guinea.
Captain John Lindsay Neylon (VX104368) died of wounds sustained near Moresby, New Guinea on 15 July 1944, and was buried at Bomana War Cemetery. He was 46 years old.