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Neems, Percy Vincent Nigel

Son of Norman Neems, police sergeant, and Laura Louisa Neems, of 39 Thomas Street, St. Paul’s. Younger brother of Reginald Norman, who also served and lost his life.

Neems was born on 06/09/1896, and attended the School from 1908-1913. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army, with the Gloucestershire Regiment 10th Bn.. Neems sadly lost his life on 09/10/1915, as a result of the War.


Neems is buried in Sopworth (St. Mary) Churchyard, Wiltshire, Britain, to the East of the Church

Through German Wire Entanglements (Gloucestershire Regiment RoH)

Prior to the war, he was employed by the Yorkshire Insurance Company who had an office at Bristol.   He was a Cadet of the Officer Training Corps and was appointed to a Temporary Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 10th December 1914 and was posted for duty with the 10th Battalion.

He served with the battalion whilst it underwent training for war in the UK.   The battalion left No 6 Camp, Sutton Veny, near Warminster, on the morning of 8th August 1915 and was shipped to France from Southampton later the same day disembarking at Le Havre by 7am on the 9th August.

The battalion joined the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Division and underwent further training for field service and first entered the front line trenches, in front of Bethune, on 19th August 1915.   The battalion was then ordered to prepare for action in the 1st Division attack to break through the German first, second and third lines, with the battalion's specific objective being the village of Hulloch.   Following an artillery and gas bombardment the attack was delivered at 6.30am on 25th September 1915 with officers and men attacking over 400 yards of No-Mans Land and through German wire entanglements.  


Immediately in front of the battalion were the remains of a small copse called "Bois Carree" and enemy observation posts and machine guns had been deployed here.   Bois Carree had not been neutralised and as the battalion crossed No Mans Land, they suffered badly from sweeping enfilade fire.  The battalion's War Diary reports that "The officers fell, as the position of their bodies showed, leading their men, and 16 out of 21 officers were lost.   Captain I R Gibbs, Capt J W C Tongue, Capt E H Moss, Capt E H Sale, Lt G W Robinson, Lt C A Symons, Lt H A Whiffin, Lt G G W Leary were and 2Lt G W Field were killed.' 


2Lt P V N Neems was seriously wounded which required his evacuation to a hospital in UK.   He died of his wounds there on 9th October 1915.


"Of Generous Disposition" (BGS Chronicle December 1915)

"Second-Lieutenant P.V. Neems belonged to a somewhat later School generation, and was indeed only nineteen. He went to France with the 10th Service Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment, and was wounded in seven places on September 25th in the great attack which was on that day made by the British. He was brought home, but pneumonia supervened, and a fornight later he died. He will be remembered by many; quiet, unassuming, kind, and of generous disposition, always liked and always respected, one who was certain to do his duty."


Neems, Percy Vincent Nigel of 39 Thomas Street St. Paul’s Bristol. 2nd Lieutenant 10th service battalion Gloucestershire Regiment died 9 October 1915 at the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital Millbank London S.W. (of wounds) Administration Bristol 25 November to Norman Neems retired police sergeant. Effects £181 9s. 5d. Just under £19000 today.

Percy Vincent Nigel Neems

Born: 06 September 1896

School dates: 1908 - 1913

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment 10th Bn.

Died: 09 October 1915

Age: 19

Remembered: Sopworth (St. Mary) Churchyard, Wiltshire, Britain

Reference: East of the Church

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