James Walker Nelson


Private 3955, 1st/4th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Killed in Action 7th July 1916 aged 30

No Known Grave Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Husband of Martha A Nelson

Lived 68, High Street, Heckmondwike

James was born in Heckmondwike in 1886, the youngest son of Edwin and Rhoda Mary Sarah Nelson of Hollinbank Lane, Heckmondwike. His mother had been born in Batley and had married Edwin Nelson in 1877 and they had eight children.

However by 1911 only four were still living. James's sisters Hannah and Elizabeth and his married brother, Washington Nelson, who also went on to become a Private in the KOYLI during the Great War, but survived. James was the only child still living at home with his parents at 47, Hollinbank Lane, working as a Warper in a cloth mill.

James married Martha A. Purcell in the Dewsbury area late in 1912 and they eventually made their home at 4, Crofts, Heckmondwike. Their only child, James E. Nelson was born in 1916, possibly just after James was killed.

Notification of James Walker Nelson's death came first in a letter from a fellow Heckmondwike soldier Private J. W. Clough which was published in the Heckmondwike Herald newspaper in July 1916 "of the death in action of Private James W. Nelson, whose wife resides at 4, Crofts, Heckmondwike. Only 28 years of age, Private Nelson was in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He enlisted in the December following the outbreak of war and first landed in France on 7th February 1916."

James has no known grave and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial pier on face 11C & 12A.

Locally commemorated: in the Vellum Roll of Honour; the Green Park Memorial and also on the St. Saviour's Church Memorial.

Medals: Victory and British.

Martha Nelson married again in 1919 to Private James Mossley who had also served in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and they lived at 68, High Street, the address given in the Vellum Roll of Honour for James's relatives.{PL/KH-095}

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