Maurice was the eldest son of Kate and Dr James Neligan of 11 Masterman Place, Middleton-in-Teesdale. He had two siblings, Cicely and Geoffrey, who was killed in action in 1918.
On 13th October 1915, Maurice led a patrol of four other men out into No Man's land. During the patrol their presence was discovered and fire fight broke out with German troops during which Neligan went missing and was later presumed dead.
On 16th October Captain day wrote to his parents, 'I have the sorrowful duty of reporting to you that your boy is missing and believed to be a prisoner in the hands of the German... Maurice was one of our most popular Officers, both with his men and his fellow Officers.he had made quite a reputation for himself in patrol work, and was a gallant leader in these dangerous enterprises.'