Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Maj Russ Neilson


One of the survivors of the daring second world war Normandy airborne mission has died. Russ Neilson of the Old Vicarage, East Stoke, died in Newark Hospital on Monday 30th July 2001. He was 86.

Russ was born in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and studied engineering at Glasgow University. He was already serving with the Territorial Army when the second world war was declared, and immediately signed up for the Army and joined the Royal Engineers.

He was posted to Newark and was an officer at the Bowbridge Camp for a year before volunteering for the airborne division. He met Miss June Markwick at a dance in the Corn Exchange on Castlegate, Newark, and the couple were married in March 1944 at Newark Parish Church. Not long afterwards he volunteered to be in one of the first gliders from the British 6th Airborne, which stormed the German defence forces at Pegasus Bridge in Normandy on 6th June 1944. It was the first mission of D-day, the turning point of the war. Russ was also involved in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes in the autumn of 1944.

He leaves a wife, six children, 17 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. To them and all his colleagues we convey our deepest sympathy.



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