Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 - 1919
….. one of the last to leave Gallipoli
Born 1895 at South Buchan Andrew was the second son of thirteen children born to Alfred and Ann Neal. For many years they resided at Buchan South before moving to Batten’s Landing at Tambo Upper. Andrew, who was a labourer, took his medical at Bruthen. He enlisted on 18 June 1915 and was attached to the 24 th  Battalion. A few days before leaving for the front he was guest of honour at a farewell where he was presented with a wristlet watch by his friends with best wishes for a safe return. On the 26 August he sailed on the Anchises and saw active service on the Gallipoli Peninsula and was one of the last men to leave. He disembarked at Alexandria on 10 January 1916 and then proceeded to France in March. He had been in France for some time where he was a bomber. The role of the bomber was extremely dangerous work as such men usually precede an infantry attack to clear the way. In writing to his aunt, Miss J. Davidson, of Bruthen, he told her that we have just returned to our billets from our first baptism of the dinkum German fire. It was very quiet. You may imagine how quiet it was when I tell you that in six days in the firing we only had two casualties and they, were only slighties. They put a good many shells over in that time but the majority of them burst harmlessly behind us, doing no damage at all. They also sent some shrapnel over, but got no one. A few days before we left they put one hundred and thirty six over, landing them all in a small pine just behind us. There was a tall chimney, a part of an old ruin standing just behind the firing line, about two hundred yards and they opened fire on it, evidently imagining it to be one of our observation posts They put seventy shells over before they got it. The seventy first shot got it fair in the centre and sent bricks and mortar flying for a 100 yards or so around. They used six inch howitzers mostly. I haven't heard a big gun like they lined in the bombardment on the Peninsula since I have been over here; The worst drawback here is the rain. We have, hardly had a fine day since we arrived. The trenches are fearful muddy and slippery. We were supplied; with those long gum boots-the ones that reach right up to your knees-while we are in the trenches. When we come out we hand them over to the next lot that take over. They are very handy too, a fellow can always have dry feet, and that is a big thing when a fellow has to stand on post at night time for two hours at a stretch in the rain. We have also been supplied with leather jackets and mittens. There is not much to write about. I don't think there has been any of our district lads hurt in France. At all events I haven't heard of any. The ninth battalion lost twenty six killed and forty odd wounded when in their billets about five or six miles behind the filing line a few days ago, but our brigade has not had more than a dozen casualties altogether, out of a fortnight in the trenches. So we are getting off light, aren't we? I have the laugh on the lads to night while we are out of the trenches, having a “rest”. We have to go up to the firing line of a night time (we can’t work in the day time on account of observation from the German line) building parapets, and yesterday morning, I had to go to the bombing school without my breakfast. We only got back to our billets at four o’clock from the trenches and the cooks had no breakfast ready by 8 o’clock, the time I had to report at the school. So poor me had to go without, but us bombers when we are attending the school are not available for fatigue so I have my night’s sleep. On the night of 29/30 June he took part in a raid on the enemies trenches and was killed in action on 29 July 1916. He was buried somewhere in the vicinity of Pozieres.   Andrew Neal was a popular young man and possessed all the qualities that make up a good soldier. The young soldier was just 21 years old when he died. His two brothers James and William both returned to Australia. Andrew is remembered on several Buchan honour rolls and on the memorial at Villiers Bretonneux in France. In April 1917 Mrs Dora Solomon, a friend of the family, wrote to the Department on behalf of the family: I write to you out of a full heart, on behalf of my friends, Mr and Mrs A. Neal, the parents of No. 1955 Pte A.B.D. Neal, D Company, 24 th  Batt. who was killed in France on 29 July 1916. Up to date, not one article of his belongings have been received by his parents. This brave boy, only 21 years when killed, served on Gallipoli and volunteered for rear guard at the evacuations and must have been one of the last to leave, as there was no one to collect his evacuation ticket. Later, in writing home to his parents, he mentioned having thought of sending it and some cones from “Lone Pine” Hill home to them, but was afraid of them going astray, and preferred keeping them till he was coming home after the war. He also possessed a wristlet watch, presented to him by his Tambo Upper friends, and some trophys he had won in sport contests on the transports and in France. His brave little mother, who has two other sons serving in France, would be so grateful to have any little thing he had touched before he passed out. If you would be so kind as to make inquiries and use your influence in finding his belongings, you would forever have the deepest thanks of his people and friends.
1955 Bomber Andrew Buckham Davidson Neal - Buchan/Johnsonville/Tambo Upper Killed in Action 29 July 1916