NELSON, Thomas
(Service number 49647)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 8 July 1891 Place of Birth Cave, N.Z.

Enlistment Information

Date 11 May 1917 Age 25
Address at Enlistment C/ John Bray, Cricklewood
Occupation Teamster
Previous Military Experience 2nd SC Regiment
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin John Nelson (father), Cave
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5ft 5in, 152lbs, sallow complexion, brown hair, brown eyes

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 27th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 13 June 1917
Transport HMNZT 87 Tahiti
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 10 January 1918 Age 26
Place of Death France
Cause Died of wounds
Notices Timaru Herald 24 Jan 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Memorial Reference XXXVI C 12
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Albury War Memorial; Cave First World War Memorial; Albury Football Club Roll of Honour; Fairlie War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Thomas Nelson was born at Cave on 8 July 1891 to John and Selina Nelson. He enlisted on 11 May 1917 when he was 25 – at that time he was a teamster working for John Bray at Cricklewood. He was described as being 5ft 5in, 152lbs, of sallow complexion, with brown hair, and brown eyes, single, and Presbyterian. He gave his next of kin as his father, John Nelson of Cave.

Thomas became a private with the 27th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Coy. He embarked at Wellington on 13 June 1917 on the troopship Tahiti sailing for Devonport, England. Therehe proceeded to Sling Camp, leaving for France and the Western Front on 6 October. Thomas Nelson received multiple shell wounds while in action on 9 January 1918. He was taken to a field hospital where he died the following day. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His will named his mother, Mrs J Nelson of Cave.

The Timaru Herald of 31 January 1918 reported: "Private T Nelson, whose death was recorded last week, was the second son of J. and S. Nelson, Ma Waro. Private Nelson was born at Ma Waro, and was educated at the Cave School. After leaving school he worked for six years with Messrs Auston Bros, Albury. He left with the 27th Reinforcements. He was 26 years of age when he died." A memoriam notice in The Timaru Herald of 10 January 1920 reads:" In loving memory of Private Tom Nelson, died of wounds somewhere in France, 10th January, aged 21 years. Somewhere abroad in a soldier’s grave Lies my dear son amongst the brave, Unknown to the world he stands by my side And whispers Dear Mother death cannot divide. Inserted by his loving father, mother, sisters and brothers (Ma Waro)."


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph [June 2021]; SCRoll web submission by M Mowatt, 4 March & 2 April 2018; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records [June 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Maree Bowen, SC branch NZSG; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

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