Nealy killed while fighting the Germans

Lt. Col. Ernest Nealy is buried in Belgium.

Lt. Col. Ernest Anderson NealyBorn: May 23, 1907; Died: Feb. 23, 1945

Lt. Col. Ernest Nealy was the highest-ranking member of the Armed Forces from Spalding County to sacrifice his life for our country during World War II.

Unfortunately, nothing is known about his early life, his Army career nor the circumstance of his death.

After the war, generations of students matriculated at Griffin High School without the slightest inkling that their rather austere teacher Mrs. Annie Ruth Nealy was silently bearing her pain as the widow of a war hero killed in action while fighting the Germans in Europe.

Earnest Nealy, born May 23, 1907, graduated from Emory University.

At 32 years of age, approximately two years before America was catapulted into World War II, he enlisted Sept. 29, 1939. He rose rapidly to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Army.

His body is buried in the American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, beside other young men from Spalding County who died like he did, defending his country.

Although Lt. Col. Nealy did not come home alive, a thankful community remembers him and his sacrifice. In addition to his name on the World War II memorial in our Memorial Park his memory is honored locally with a monument in the County Line Methodist Church Cemetery and a bronze plaque installed at 127 W. Taylor St. in downtown Griffin.

If you want to read Lt. Col. Nealy’s full biography or have additional information about him visit