Neil Preston attended the Melbourne Boys High School but left at 15 in 1939 to work as a telegraph messenger in the Postmaster-General’s Department. He was transferred to the Department of the Navy in 1940 and remained in the Navy and Defence administrations until his retirement in 1988. He displayed a talent for logical analysis and, in spite of his lack of legal qualifications, became the Navy administration’s specialist in the development of legislation. He played an important role in the development of a uniform disciplinary code for the Defence Force that in 1985 replaced the obsolete English legislation that applied to the Defence Force. In recognition of his work in this field, Neil was awarded the Commendation of the Chief of the Defence Force in 1985, and the OAM in 1989. Neil’s earlier book Military Law in Twentieth Century Australia: The Development of a Common Disciplinary Scheme was published by the Defence Publishing Service in 2006.