Regimental number1981
Place of birthBallarat Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Nelson, 5 Nottingham Street, Kensington, Victoria
Enlistment date21 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Light Trench Mortar Battery
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

'For distinguished service and gallantry in action near Bullecourt, when he continued to serve his mortar throughout the day and night until relieved at dawn.'
Recommendation date: 12 May 1917

FateReturned to Australia 13 April 1919
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Plaque in Victorian Garden of Remembrance

Military Medal

'The above men [NELSON, 970 W. PARSONS, 844 R.C. LAING, 3798 P.J. COUCH, 4470 D. McQUEEN, 4509 R.G. McSHANE, 1797 W.R. FOWLER] distinguished themselves in action in the captured trenches near BULLECOURT on 3rd May 1917, by the gallantry and determination with which they continued to serve their mortars throughout the day and night until relieved at dawn on the 5th. On no occasion was a request for fire not complied with, though the battery suffered severe losses (over half its numbers). No chance of observing fire or getting targets was thrown away and the casualties the Battery inflicted on the enemy were certainly very heavy. On one occasion a hostile party was barraged first in front, then in rear, and when brought to halt blown out without a survivor. In this the above N.C.O.s and men played a prominent part.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Date of death18 April 1929