Sapper Hugh John Nelson

Birth: July 4, 1917 in Battleford, Saskatchewan
Death: May 25, 1944 in Italy
Service: WWII
Service Number: K66384

Hugh John Nelson lived at 372 Odlin Road with his parents Frederick George and Lily Nelson. The family had moved to Eburne in 1940 from Battleford, Saskatchewan. Hugh had attended Battleford Collegiate for two years.

At his enlistment in Vancouver on August 24, 1942 he stated that he had been a truck driver for four years and that he was a member of the Church of England. He named his father as his next of kin. Hugh was posted to Chilliwack for training and became a qualified military transport driver. He embarked for overseas on March 22, 1943 and arrived in England shortly afterwards. He took several courses in driver training for which he received increases in pay. He joined the 10th Field Squadron of the Royal Canadian Engineers in September 1943 and embarked for Italy in November 1943. Hugh John Nelson was killed in action May 25, 1944 in Italy. His body was buried at Melfa River Cemetery, Italy and then reburied at the Cassino Military Cemetery, Cassino, Italy.

History of the Road Name (Nelson Road):

  • Nelson Road was named April 15, 1911 after Mrs. Ennetta K. Nelson and Mr. Nels Nelson who were the owners of two parcels of land (lots 12 and 7) immediately adjacent to Nelson Road, and what became Westminster Highway. It is not known when the Nelson's purchased or sold this property, or whether or not they ever developed the land or lived on it.
  • In 1881, Nels Nelson, born on August 11, 1863 in Denmark, arrived in Victoria, BC as an able seaman on a German full-rigged ship where he skipped ashore and gained employment at the Victoria brewing Company where he became accomplished in the art of brewing. He then moved up island to John Mahrer's Nanaimo Bottling Company, where he became knowledgeable of this new packaging medium before moving to New Westminster. In 1886, Nelson was employed as the brewmaster at the Westminster Brewery and, in 1896 obtained ownership of the Westminster Brewery and the City Brewery. He closed the City Brewery location on Cunningham Street and transferred all operations to the Westminster Brewery site on Brunette Street. November 6, 1889 Nels Nelson married Anetta (Ennetta) Kerstin Sorrensen of Denmark. At the time of the marriage, Ennetta was residing in Denmark and Nels was residing in New Westminster; the marriage certificate was signed in New Westminster. From the 1890s until he sold the Brewery in 1928, Nels Nelson became a rich, powerful and active man in the City. Nelson brought stability to the brewery business and was also president of the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Society. In 1928, Nelson sold his interest in the Westminster Brewery to the Robery Fiddes & Associates Coast Breweries consortium. June 17, 1944 Nels Nelson passed away in New Westminster.
  • Hugh John Nelson has no connection to this Nelson family
  • Council Resolution to adopt road name: April 15, 1911 (Bylaw 148)
  • See Plan: Richmond Municipality - Road No. 8 drainage district - proposed diversion of main ditch (item number 1988 17 3)
  • City of New Westminster Report to the Development Services Department March 7, 2011 (available online)