Percy W. Nelles
Percy Walker Nelles
|Born||7 January 1892|
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
|Died||13 June 1951 (aged 59)|
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
|Service/||Royal Canadian Navy|
|Commands held||Chief of the Naval Staff|
|Awards||Companion of the Order of the Bath Legion of Merit|
|Relations||Son of BGen Charles M. Nelles, CMG|
Admiral Percy Walker Nelles, CB (7 January 1892 – 13 July 1951) was a flag officer in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Chief of the Naval Staff from 1 January 1934 to 15 January 1944. He oversaw the massive wartime expansion of the RCN and the transformation of Canada into a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic. During his tenure U-boats raided the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canadian Northwest Atlantic command was created, and the RCN provided up to 40% of all escort forces in the North Atlantic. His handling of the RCN's war effort had its opponents however, and he was removed from his post as Chief of the Naval Staff in January 1944. He was sent to London as Overseas Naval Attaché, coordinating RCN operations for Operation Overlord. He retired in January 1945 as a full admiral.
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Nelles was born in Brantford, Ontario on 7 January 1892, the son of Brigadier General Charles M. Nelles (1865–1936). As a child, Nelles attended the private schools Lakefield Preparatory School and then Trinity College School in Port Hope. As a child he was known to play with boats on the Grand River and wanted to be a part of the navy all of his life. Brigadier General Nelles wrote to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries for an appointment for Percy in the future Canadian naval service. Nelles enlisted as a cadet in the Fisheries Protection Service in 1909. He joined the Fisheries Protection Service as the second of the first seven cadets in anticipation of the formation of the Canadian navy. Nelles first assignment was to CGS Canada, the new Canadian fisheries protection vessel in 1910.
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Nelles retired to Victoria, British Columbia. In 1946, Nelles was awarded the Legion of Merit with the rank of commander by the United States. In May 1951, Nelles became ill and died on 13 June. He was survived by his wife and two sons. He was buried at sea by HMCS Sault Ste. Marie.
Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps 'ADMIRAL NELLES' was formed in 1940 to honour the Chief of the Naval Staff. This cadet unit, located in Brantford, and is currently under the command of Lieutenant(N) J. Messecar, CD with approximately 55 cadets. Additionally, the barracks at Naden, CFB Esquimalt, is named in his honour, called Nelles Block. Cadets at Royal Roads Military College were awarded the Nelles Trophy for athletics (running).
Awards and decorations
Nelles's personal awards and decorations include the following:
|Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB)||
|British War Medal||
|Victory Medal (United Kingdom)||
|Defence Medal (United Kingdom)||
|Canadian Volunteer Service Medal||
|War Medal 1939–1945||
|King George V Silver Jubilee Medal||
|King George VI Coronation Medal||
|Commander of the Legion of Merit||
|Legion of Honour||
|Croix de Guerre 1939–1945 with palm|
|Order of St. Olav|
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Source: "Percy W. Nelles", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 22nd), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_W._Nelles.
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- ^ a b c d e "Admiral Percy Walker Nelles". Beginnings. CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Admiral Percy Walker Nelles". The Crowsnest. Vol. 3, no. 10. King's Printer. August 1951. p. 8.
- ^ a b c d e f g Whitby, Michael; Gimblett, Richard H. & Haydon, Peter (2006). The Admirals: Canada's Senior Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century. Toronto: Dundurn Press. pp. 69–91. ISBN 978-1-55002-580-4.
- ^ Milner, Marc. "Nelles, Percy Walker". Biography: Diplomats & Ambassadors. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- ^ a b Hadley, Michael L.; Robert Neil Huebert; Rob Huebert; Fred W. Crickard (1996). A Nation's Navy: in quest of Canadian naval identity. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-1506-2.
- ^ a b Holland, Sarah Elizabeth (March 2010). "Inspired by the Olympic Games: A Very Brief History of Sport at Hatley Park". InRoads Magazine. Royal Roads University. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- ^ a b Mayne, Richard Oliver (1999). Behind the scenes at Naval Service headquarters: Bureaucratic politics and the dismissal of Vice-Admiral Percy W. Nelles (M.A. thesis) Wilfrid Laurier University
- ^ "135 ADMIRAL NELLES RCSCC". 21 August 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- ^ "NELLES, Percy Walker, Vice Admiral". Awards to the Royal Canadian Navy. Commander (rtd) John Blatherwick. 20 July 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- ^ CB "For services as Chief of the Naval Staff of Canada from 1934 to the present time, during which period, the Royal Canadian Navy has expanded from a few hundred officers and ratings to upwards of 45,000."
- ^ "For the exceptionally meritorious services to the Government of the United States from 1940 to 1944. As Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Canadian Navy, Admiral Nelles was untiring in his efforts to strengthen the ties of friendship and co-operation between Canada and the United States; to prepare the Royal Canadian Navy for immediate co-operation with the United States Navy in the event that the United States should abruptly enter the war; and, after December 7, 1941, to establish and plan the co-operation between the two Navies which resulted in final victory."
- ^ "For services as Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Canadian Navy, throughout World War Two."
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