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Francis John Thomson Neale 

Servicenumber : 73653
Rank : Captain
Regiment : The Glider Pilot Regiment
Unit : 1st Wing
Date of Death : 26-09-1944
Age : 24
Grave : Grave 2
Francis John Thomson Neale was a son of Allan Skeffington Neale and Eileen Monica Neale. He was married to Sheena Mary Martin Neale, of Horley, Surrey.
According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 2011) Neale his body was recovered by Germans from the river Rhine at Amerongen on 21 october 1944 and was subsequently buried in the local General Cemetery.
Neale served with Headquarters of B Squadron. He was the second in command under Major Ian Toler. The authors of the book 'Glider Pilots at Arnhem' (Mike Peters and Luuk Buist) wrote about Captain Neale on page 188: "After their march back from the bridge, Ian Toler and 'B' Squadron were now established in a position around a house, at the south-east edge of the Oosterbeek perimeter. The Squadron Headquarters was located inside one of the houses. Ian Toler: "Captain Angus Low is with me. Captain John Neale, my second in command, who was in charge of my Squadron's second lift, appears, and reports all well with the second lift and no casualties. Says he is off to join Major Linton (OC 2 Airlanding Light Battery RA) with the Light Regiment, to whom he is attached, and to 'keep away from Wing Headquarters.' 
That is the last time I ever see him."
On page 284 they again quote Major Ian Toler: "We had been issued with an inflatable rubber ring which was for use if we had to ditch when flying our gliders. Discussing this with my second in command John Neale when we were issued them some weeks before, I remembering him saying 'I'm going to keep mine with me during the operation; it is not much weight and would be a fine thing to help one across a river in full equipment.' Remembering this I had kept mine under my smock and just before reaching the river I had blown it up. It now saved my life because I was easily able to keep afloat and swim where I liked.
Picture: 11-08-2016
With all our love
Sources: Website CWGC, website www.paradata.org.uk, 'Glider Pilots at Arnhem' and Roll of Honour


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