The Neilson Family

Eric Reginald Bruce Neilson

Eric Reginal Bruce Neilson
Eric Reginald Bruce Neilson
photo from Helen Pillerine
Birth: 4 April 1900, in Sale, Victoria

Father: Robert Charles Cunningham Neilson

Mother: Henrietta Mary (Hartrick) Neilson

Married: Myra Eastaway on 27 November 1926, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Myra was born on 21 August 1903 in Yarram, Victoria, Australia, the daughter of William Norman Eastaway and Ann Maria Cocksedge. She died on 17 July 1990 in Tasmania, aged 86.

Death: 22 October 1989


Keith Arthur Neilson

Keith Arthur Neilson
Keith Arthur Neilson
photo from Helen Pillerine
Birth: 1898, in Sale, Victoria

Father: Robert Charles Cunningham Neilson

Mother: Henrietta Mary (Hartrick) Neilson

Married: Ila May Ireson on 10 August 1935, in St Mary's Church of England, Morwell, Victoria, Australia
The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria) 21 September 1935 p13
NEILSON—IRESON—On the 10th August in St Mary's Church of England Morwell by the Rev. L. W. Benn, Keith Arthur, third son of Mrs. and the late Mr. R. Neilson of Caulfield, to Ila May, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. ??. T. Ireson of Traralgon (Auckland papers please copy.)

Occupation: Butter factory assistant

Notes: Keith served with the Australian Imperial Force in World War I. He  joined the 14th Reinforcements of the 29th Infantry Battalion as a private on 17 September 1917. His address at this time was recorded as Traralgon, Victoria, and his next of kin was his mother Mrs. H. M. Neilson, of Traralgon, Victoria. Keith embarked on HMAT Ulysses A38 from Melbourne on 22 December 1917.
Traralgon Record (Traralgon, Victoria) 12 September 1919 p4
  On Monday evening Private Keith Neilson, son of Mrs Neilson of Hotham Street, Traralgon, arrived from active service, after being away for about two years. The young soldier received a hearty welcome at the railway station from a large number of friends, while Cr Pettit, on behalf of the Returned Soldiers Committee, formally welcomed Private Neilson, and the Town Band awoke the echoes with the old, yet ever new strains of "Home, Sweet Home."
  Private Neilson, with his mother and relatives, were then motored home, where a sumptuous repast was spread in honor of the occasion. The house was decorated with flags and bunting, and conspicuous were the colors of the regiment to which Private Neilson was attached in France.
  Cr Pettit presided, and after the National Anthem had been sung, and all had partaken of the good things, proposed the toast of Private Neilson. He said all were pleased and gratified to see Private Neilson home again. It was the second welcome home he had the pleasure of being present at in Mrs Neilson's house, and he congratulated her and the family on having Keith back looking so well. They were all pleased their young friend had not bodily suffered, although he had been in the region of Amiens and other places where there was some hard fighting. Private Neilson had gone away about two years ago determined to do his best at the call of Empire, King and Country, and it afforded them great satisfaction to see him safely back. It must be especially gratifying to Mrs Neilson to have her boy home again. It spoke very highly for Mrs Neilson that three of her sons had enlisted. As a member of the Shire Council he asked Private Neilson to accept their thanks, and the thanks of the ratepayers, for the services he had rendered to the Empire. It was pleasing that Private Neilson had come back under the banner of victory and with the knowledge that we had come out on the right side. We had liberty and freedom as the result of the labors and sufferings of our brave men, and the British Empire was never more united than it was now. Cr Pettit spoke of the gallantry of the Australians, and concluded by wishing Private Neilson long life, health and happiness.
  The toast was received with musical honors and cheers.
  Mr Duffy said he was very pleased to be present to congratulate Private Neilson on his return, and also his mother and family. Three sons of Mrs Neilson had taken part in the titanic struggle, which reflected great credit on her. By their heroic deeds the Australians had made a name for Australia that would never die, and had advertised her as never before. As a result immigration from England and France would be attracted to our shores. If they got people of the right sort, such as the parents of the boys who had gone to the Front, Australia would be richer for the sacrifices made by our soldiers. They also had a financial burden to bear, and each should feel proud to help the Prime Minister to carry into effect what was desired. The Prime Minister was the champion of the "diggers," and they were very fortunate indeed to have such an able man to champion their cause in the future. No man could have acquitted himself as Mr Hughes had done at the Peace Conference, and the result was largely due to his tenacity of purpose, especially in regard to the Pacific Islands. Mr Hughes had stated he would take the shortest cut to see the "diggers" got a fair deal. He congratulated Pte. Neilson on his return, and hoped in the future the experiences he had gone through would be for the benefit of Australia and himself. He hoped Private Neilson would be long spared to his mother. (Applause.)
  Messrs Jordan and Chappell endorsed all that had been said, and congratulated Private Neilson on his return, and Mrs Neilson at having him home again.
  Private Neilson was greeted with loud applause on rising to respond. He sincerely thanked all for the welcome home given him. He had done nothing but his duty, and although it was a bit hard at times when the war was on, the Australian soldiers had received very great kindness in Belgium. The latter had been as good as mothers and sisters to the Australians. He again heartily thanked all. (Loud applause).
  Mr J. W. Guest gave the toast of Mrs Neilson and family, and congratulated them on the return of Private Neilson.
  The toast was enthusiastically received with cheers and a "tiger."
  Mr Hayes in supporting the toast said he felt sure Mrs Neilson and all were very pleased to see Private Neilson back safe and sound.
  Mr Riley thanked all very much on behalf of Mrs Neilson and family for their kind remarks, and said they were all pleased and happy that Keith had returned. (Applause.)
  Mr Duffy, in eulogistic terms, proposed the toast of the Chairman, and spoke of the high appreciation in which Cr Pettit's services were held. He was the father of gatherings of this kind, and no man was more capable than him. The toast was received with musical honors and cheers, to which was added a "tiger." Cr Pettit sincerely thanked all for the unexpected compliment. He had done his duty, and had had some jolly good times. They never met but they departed better friends, and he hoped the friendships cemented would last for many years. He again thanked all for the manner in which the toast was received. (Applause.)
  The singing of "God Bless Our Splendid Men" brought a very happy gathering to a close.
  The remainder of the evening was spent in music., all present spending a most enjoyable time.

Death: 12 April 1982, in Heidleberg, Victoria, Australia

Buried: in St John's Anglican Church, Trafalgar, Victoria, Australia.


Robert Charles Cunningham Neilson

Richard Charles Cunningham Neilson
Robert Charles Cunningham Neilson
photo from Helen Pillerine
Birth: 12 November 1843, in Tarraville, Port Phillip district, New South Wales

Baptism: 11 May 1845, in Maneroo, New South Wales

Father: James Neilson

Mother: Isabella (_____) Neilson

Married: Henrietta Mary Hartrick on 24 June 1884 in Christ Church, Tarraville, Victoria
The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria) 27 June 1884 p1
On the 24th inst., at Christ Church, Tarraville, by the Rev. H. A. Betts, Robert C. C. Neilson of Stratford, to Minnie, youngest daughter of G. S. Hartrick, Port Albert.

Gippsland Times (Victoria) 27 June 1884 p3
That ever popular and interesting ceremony, the tying of the Gordian knot, was performed in the Church of England, Tarraville, on Tuesday last. The officiating minister was the Rev. H. A. Betts, the most deeply interested parties to the contract (says the Standard) being Mr Robert Neilson and Miss Minnie Hartrick. The bride was given away by her brother-in-law Mr S. Symonds, and a number of friends of the happy couple were present to wish them prosperity as they drove away in the direction of Sale, en route to their new home at Fernbank, near Stratford.


Occupation: Robert was manager of the Kilmany Park Estate in Sale, Victoria, in 1894.
Gippsland Times (Victoria) 14 June 1884 p2
All persons found Shooting, Coursing, or otherwise TRESPASSING on the KILMANY PARK ESTATE will be PROSECUTED without respect to persons.
May 14th, 1894.

Death: 27 February 1916, at Traralgon House, Hotham Street, Victoria, Australia, aged 72
Traralgon Record (Traralgon, Victoria) 29 February 1916 p3
We regret to chronicle the death of Mr Robert Charles C. Neilson, husband of Mrs Neilson, of Traralgon, which sad event took place on Sunday morning. Deceased, who was 72 years of age, was well known in the Cowwarr district, where he resided for some years before coming to Traralgon. Of late he had been ailing, and the last few weeks was confined to his room, so that his death was not unexpected. The late Mr Neilson was held in high esteem by all who knew him, and his death will be much regretted by many, while the sympathy of a large circle of friends will be extended to Mrs Neilson and family in their bereavement. The funeral took place yesterday, when the remains of deceased were interred in the Traralgon Cemetery. The burial service was read by the Rev. W. J. T. Pay, and the funeral arrangements carried out by Messrs F. and F. Grubb.

Gippsland Farmers Journal (Traralgon, Victoria) 29 February 1916 p2
Robert C. Neilson Passes.

  Death claimed another familiar figure in this portion of Gippsland on Sunday, namely, Mr. Robt Charles Neilson, of Hotham street, Traralgon, who had attained the the advanced age of 72 years. He had been in ill-health for a number of years. Mrs. Neilson and a family of eight sons and daughters, nearly all grown up, survive, and have the sympathy of friends and the public in their bereavement.
 The remains were interred in the Traralgon Cemetery yesterday, when Rev W. J. T Pay, Church of England minister, conducted the service, and F. and E. Grubb the funeral arrangements.
  The late Mr. Neilson was born in Tarraville, South Gippsland, and was one of the first white children born in Australia. He spent all or nearly all his life in Gippsland and was farming at Cowwarr some years ago.

Buried: 28 February 1916, in Traralgon cemetery, Traralgon, Victoria, Australia. The grave location is NSCE-C057.


Vivian Felix Henry Neilson

Vivian Felix Henry Neilson
Vivian Felix Henry Neilson
photo from Helen Pillerine
Birth: 1906, in Maffra, Victoria, Australia

Father: Robert Charles Cunningham Neilson

Mother: Henrietta Mary (Hartrick) Neilson

Married: Mary Henrietta Smith on 17 June 1929, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Vivian and Mary were divorced in 1948.
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland) 13 March 1948 p4
  In the Supreme Court on Friday morning before Mr. Justice R. J. Douglas, Vivian Felix Henry Neilson proceeded against Mary Henrietta Neilson for the dissolution of their marriage on the grounds of desertion. Mr R. Cormack, instructed by A. E. Dean and Gillman, town agents for S. Newman Johnson. Mt. Isa, appeared for the plaintiff, the action being undefended.
  In evidence, the plaintiff stated he was married at Melbourne on June 17, 1929. He had lived with the defendant until December 30, when differences arose and they separated. He resumed cohabitation with his wife in 1938 and lived at Grafton, where a son was born. In April, 1939, he came home from work one day and found that his wife had left taking her clothes and personal belongings, but leaving the infant child. Previously, there had been differences over her desire to go dancing without the plaintiff. Since April, 1939, the plaintiff had never heard of his wife and had never seen her except at the time of service of the writ and petition which was done in Melbourne on January 10, 1948.
  His Honour found the facts as alleged and granted a decree nisi to be made absolute at the end of three months.

Notes: Vivian was known as "Bob"

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Queensland) 17 December 1930 p6
No Time to Pay
GRAFTON, December 16.
  When Vivian Neilson was to-day fined £15, or three months, and £5, or one month, for having two revolvers in his possession, also £7, or three months, for stealing 15 gallons of petrol from a Coff's' Harbour garage, he was refused time to pay, the magistrate stating that reflection in gaol would do him good.
  It was alleged Neilson had deserted from the police force in Victoria where he was attached to the motor cycle patrol. He was supplied with 15 gallons of petrol at Coff's Harbour where he arrived in a car, accompanied by a woman who was not his wife, and had driven away without paying.
  Neilson had been in the Victorian police for two and a half years.

The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, South Australia) 17 December 1930 p2
Tells Story Of Fight With Fellow Constable
  GRAFTON (N.S.W.), Tuesday.— Admitting himself to be a deserter from the Victorian Police Force, Vivian Felix Nielson appeared in the Police Court at Grafton today. He was fined £15, in default three months' imprisonment, and £5, in default one month, for having had two revolvers in his posses- sion, also £7, in default three months, for having stolen 15 gallons of petrol from Raymond's Garage, Coff's Harbour.
  Nielson told the police that until a few days ago he was attached to the Melbourne Police motor cycle patrol. According to his own evidence he deserted from the force after having had an argument with Constable Gower, during which he alleged that Gower fired five shots from a revolver.
  Nielson said he ''had no time" for Gower, who while speaking to a girl in Nielson's presence near Melbourne, made use of bad language. When he spoke to Gower about it, said Nielson, Gower said, "I will shoot you before I'll lose an argument." Gower, he said, then fired five shots, but he did not know whether they were fired at him or not. No one was hurt. Nielson said he knocked Gower down and took the weapon from him.
  A passing swagman reported the matter to the police, and fearing that he could be called on to give evidence against Gower, Nielson packed up and cleared out. Nielson also told the court that he was faced with four charges of neglect of duty. Nielson is now in Grafton jail.

Death: 1975, in Queensland, Australia


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