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Gordon James Nilsen

Photograph of Signalman Gordon Nilsen 30473. Image kindly provided by Max Edge (May 2018). Image may be subject to copyright restriction.

Photograph of Signalman Gordon Nilsen 30473. Image kindly provided by Max Edge (May 2018). Image may …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Gordon James AWMM
  • Surname
    Nilsen AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 30473 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 September 1914 AWMM Canterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW2 Pre 1940 AWMM 58B Haven Rd., Nelson AWMM
    • WW2 Pre 1944 AWMM 58B Haven Rd., Nelson AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Mr. C.H. Nilsen, 58B Haven Rd., Nelson (father) AWMM
    • WW2 Mr. C.H. Nilsen, 58B Haven Rd., Nelson (f) AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 30473 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Corporal G. J. Nilsen, MM and bar; Motueka; born Kaikoura, 24 Sep 1914; P and T lineman. (Source: Borman, C.A. Divisional Signals. p.278)

    'Throughout the whole of the 21st all lines in 5 Brigade's area suffered heavily from shell and mortar fire, the line between 28 Battalion and Takrouna, in particular, being continually disrupted by enemy fire. By the morning of the 22nd, when K Section's detachment laid out another line, this time between 25 Battalion at Cherachir and 24 Battalion on the left of 6 Brigade's positions, to serve as an alternative means of communication, the linemen under Corporal Davies were almost in the last stages of exhaustion. Since the attack started the detachment had worked almost continuously for three nights and two days, often under direct observation from enemy positions and, particularly during maintenance work on the line between 28 Battalion and Takrouna, under heavy mortar and shell fire. Laying the line between 25 and 24 Battalions on the morning of the 22nd was a particularly hazardous task as the route lay along a fireswept wadi for a considerable part of its length, but Corporal Davies and Signalman Nilsen exhibited exemplary coolness and an almost complete disregard of danger.
    For their work during the Takrouna battle Davies received the MM and Nilsen a bar to the MM he had been awarded for his work at Headquarters 4 Brigade the previous July in the Ruweisat battle.' (Source: Borman, C.A. Divisional Signals. pp. 373-4.)

    'Immediately upon Main Brigade Headquarters' arrival at the western end of the ridge a line was put out to 20 Battalion, but none was laid to 18 or 19 Battalions, which were digging in only three or four hundred yards from Brigade Headquarters. The only means of communication with Main Divisional Headquarters was now the No. 9 rear link set, since the B (cable) Section detachment had been captured. Apparently no attempt was made by Signals at Main Brigade to find the Main Division line, the end of which lay only half a mile away, but from Rear Brigade Headquarters, where the brigade's fighting transport and guns had been halted by enemy fire near the western end of Stuka Wadi earlier in the attack, Signalman Nilsen,11 a J Section lineman, came forward under fierce fire for two miles and repaired several breaks in the cable before he was eventually forced to retire. A little later, escorted by several Bren carriers, he made another attempt to repair the line through to Main Brigade Headquarters, but was again forced back. For these plucky attempts carried out with complete disregard for his own safety, he received an immediate award of the MM.' (Source: Borman, C.A. Divisional Signals. p. 278) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • My wife's grandmother was Grace Nilsen

    One of Grace's brothers was Charlie Nilsen who was the father of Gordon Nilsen MM+Bar ( 30473)

    Another of Grace's brothers was John Nilsen 11/2185 WMR 1NZEF

    A third brother was Harry Nilsen ( 6/315 ) who was killed in action on Chunak Bair
    ( 7/8/1915)

    Married to Grace Nilsen was Arthur Wilton who had 3 brothers and a sister
    1 Eric Wilton 62189 AIR
    2 Horace Wilton 10/2040 WIR
    3 Leonard Wilton 10/3785 WIR

    The sister was Tillie Wilton who was married to a James Blackley. One of their sons was also known as James Blackley
    He was an Able Seaman on board the RNZN ship Neptune. He was killed in action 19/12/1941
    The other son was Len Blackley 33460 19th Battalion 2NZEF He was killed in action 27/11/41
    Public - Max - Other relative - 28 November 2023



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  • External links
  • References
    • Borman, C. (1954). Divisional Signals. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.278, 373-4. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.139 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 13 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1944 to 31st March, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.92 AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
28 November 2023MaxWaikato - HamiltonOther relative

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