Karl Alex Frederick NIELSON

Karl Alex Frederick NIELSON

Per his Application for Certificate of Naturalization dated 4th September 1915, under the name Karl Axel Frederik Nielsen, he was born on 19th December 1890 at Nestved, Sjaelland, Denmark, and arrived in Newcastle, Australia, from the United States of America on 15th April 1913, on the Canada Cape.[1] Per a letter in this file dated 29th August 1915 he applied to be naturalized so he could be eligible to enlist to join a “mate” who had already enlisted.

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4865), Karl Alex Frederick Nielson was born at Sjelland, Denmark. He gave his age as 24 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as Bushman. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a ruddy complexion, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service. Although he did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool, and was attested at Liverpool on the 13th November 1915, his date of joining on the nominal roll was recorded as the 8th November 1915, when the Coo-ees were on their way from Lawson to Springwood. Per The Blue Mountains Echo he was one of three recruits to join the Coo-es from Hazelbrook.[2]

After the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll he is named as Karl Axle Nielson, and his address at time of enrolment was C/- Mrs. Hook, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, N.S.W. His next of kin is listed as Mrs D. [i.e. E.] Hook, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, N.S.W.

Mrs [Ellen] Hook described him in a letter dated 4th December 1921 in his service record as “a mate of my son [Augustus “Gus” James Hook, who had joined the AIF on 26th August 1915] and always made my place his home long before he enlisted”.

On 8th March 1916 Private Nielson along with many of the other Coo-ees departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 Private Nielson was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 6th May 1916 Private Nielson was admitted to the 54th Casualty Clearing Station at Serapeum, Egypt, with an illness Not Yet Diagnosed. That same day he was transferred to the 12th Field Ambulance. On 22nd May 1916 Private Nielson was discharged and returned to his unit

On 4th June 1916 Private Nielson left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 11th June 1916.

On 15th July 1916 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was at Canaples, France, conducting training. On this day Private Nielson was charged with Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline in that he while on Parade replied in an insubordinate manner to NCO who was instructing Parade. He was awarded one day Field Punishment Number 2.

On 6th August 1916 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was maintaining Tramway Trench in the ruins of the village of Pozieres which was under heavy German artillery fire during the Battle of Pozieres when Private Nielson was killed in action. Also killed with him in the 4th Pioneer Battalion on the same day were fellow Coo-ees Oliver James Harmon (who joined the Coo-ee March at Parramatta), and John Tarlington (who joined at Blayney).

An entry in Private Nielson’s service record notes that he was ‘Believed buried at Copse Avenue Pozieres’. However his body was not able to be located.

Private Nielson is remembered on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Private Nielson's name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Nielson’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Nielson’s name is commemorated on panel 114 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour. His place of association is Hazelbrook.

Hi name is also remembered on the Wentworth Falls War Memorial.

[1] Karl Axel Frederik Nielsen, Hazelbrook, Labourer, ‘Application for Certificate of Naturalization’, stamped 17 September 1915, http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=33454

[2] ‘Hazelbrook’, The Blue Mountain Echo , 19 November 1915, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108047454. Note: named as “Harry Neilsen”, and “An earlier recruit, Mr. Gus Hook, was also present”.

 

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