Personal info

  • Name: David NELSON
  • D.O.B: 3rd April, 1886
  • D.O.A: 1st September, 1914
  • D.O.D: 8th April, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, ‘L’ Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

Néry, France 1 September 1914

September 1914

More details about:
The First World War 1914 

By 30 August 1914, the German drive towards Paris had pushed the British and French southwards across the River Aisne. On 1 September at Néry, on the southern edge of the Forest of Compiègne, ‘L’ Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, which had already distinguished itself at Mons, performed another notable brief holding action. Early that morning the German 4th Cavalry Division caught up with the British 1st Cavalry Brigade. ‘L’ Battery, which was bivouacked in an orchard, came under fire from German guns at a range of less than a thousand yards. Men and horses were blown to pieces. Calling for volunteers, Captain E K Bradbury succeeded in turning three guns on the enemy to return fire. Two were soon hit. Bradbury acted as layer for the remaining gun with Sergeant D Nelson as range setter. Nelson was soon wounded but refused to seek medical attention. When they were joined by Sergeant Major G T Dorrell, Bradbury set off to run the twenty yards to the ammunition wagon, when a shell blew off his leg. Despite this, he continued to direct fire until he was hit again. 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment and The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) relieved the British force and eventually captured twelve German guns. The British then withdrew with the surviving gunners and cavalrymen, just as the German infantry appeared.

Citation

 Helping to bring the guns into action under heavy fire at Nery on 1st September, and while severely wounded remaining with them until all the ammunition was expended – although he had been ordered to retire to cover. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 November 1914. 16 November 1914, Numb. 28976, p. 9374. Repeated in The London Gazette of 17 November 1914, Numb. 28977, p. 9403

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