Maurice Wilder-Neligan

Maurice Wilder-Neligan was born Maurice Neligan in Tavistock, Devon, England, on 4 October 1882. He enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force on 20 August 1914 at Townsville, under the name Maurice Wilder, giving Auckland, New Zealand, as his place of birth. A sergeant in the 9th Battalion by the time of the Gallipoli landings of April 1915, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the second highest award for acts of gallantry by other ranks. Arriving on the Western Front with the substantive rank of captain, he led a raid on German trenches near Fleurbaix, and although severely wounded in the head, stuck to his command until

About Maurice Wilder-Neligan in brief

Summary Maurice Wilder-NeliganMaurice Wilder-Neligan was born Maurice Neligan in Tavistock, Devon, England, on 4 October 1882. He enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force on 20 August 1914 at Townsville, under the name Maurice Wilder, giving Auckland, New Zealand, as his place of birth. A sergeant in the 9th Battalion by the time of the Gallipoli landings of April 1915, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the second highest award for acts of gallantry by other ranks. Arriving on the Western Front with the substantive rank of captain, he led a raid on German trenches near Fleurbaix, and although severely wounded in the head, stuck to his command until the operation was successfully completed. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed to command the 10th Battalion in July 1918. After the war, he worked as a district officer in theAustralian-administered Territory of New Guinea, where he died at the age of 40, probably of complications from his war wounds. Considered by many to be rather eccentric, he was also a successful tactician, a skilful organiser, and highly regarded for his treatment of the soldiers under his command. In addition to the decorations already mentioned, he also received the French Croix de guerre and was mentioned in despatches five times. He died on Garua Island, New Britain, on 11 November 1918, and was buried on the island of Garua, where his family had lived for more than a century before the outbreak of the First World War.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Jane Wyatt, and their one daughter, who was born in Auckland in 1913. In 1908 he was brought before the courts in bankruptcy proceedings, owing some £5,500. During the hearing he stated that he had been at sea during the period 1898–1902, and had not been working since he returned, although he had visited Ceylon late the previous year looking for work. He had told the clerk he was married with a child, and that his services would not be required, but he merely joined a queue in a queue of a different front of the front of a Queensland-raised 1st Brigade. With the rank of private he was allotted to the 3st Battalion of the 3rd Brigade, which was part of the 1st Queensland Brigade. In September 1910 he enlisted in the Royal Horse Artillery, having lowered his age and given Auckland as hisplace of birth, and served as a soldier for a year before leaving his wife and child at their Park Lane home in London and travelling to Sydney, Australia. On 18 February 1905, he married a divorcee, FrancesJane Wyatt, in London. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in June 1918. In July 1918 he was appointed to lead the 2nd Battalion at the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge in September and was awarded a bar to his DSO, again for gallantry.