By October 1914 he had joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment (Service No. 16098) and at the time of his death held the rank of Corporal. He died at the Somme on 30th July 1916 and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 1 D, 8 B and 8 C). He was also remembered on the memorial at All Hallows Church, Allerton, Liverpool. He was awarded the 1915 Star, Victor and British War medals.
His death was recorded in the Shaftesbury Grammar School magazine and his character described: “N.J. Tunnington was an old boy who kept very closely in touch with the School after he left. While here he was good at work and games, straight as a die, and a general favourite with everybody. He was a first class shot, and was “sniper” to his platoon. His commanding officer speaks of him as ‘a fine soldier, trustworthy to the utmost degree, and of great personal charm and character.’ He last visited the School on October, 1915, shortly before going out to France.”
As a former pupil his name was recorded on the Shaftesbury Grammar School war memorial, now in Shaftesbury School. A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which Niels served and the date and term in which he left school. Throughout the war a hand-written list was also compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. An asterix can be seen next to Niels' name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum.
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1914
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, November 1916
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915