Soldier Spotlight: Harry Nellis

Image: Grace and Harry Nellis photographed on their wedding day, August 28, 1945. (SPRA 259.13.01)

Harry Nellis, the son of L.J. (Moose) Nellis, was born on March 15, 1920 on the farm in Bezanson. When Harry was six, the family moved to Grande Prairie where he started school. They moved back to the farm in 1933 where Harry went to school for two more years.

On October 3, 1940, Harry enlisted in the Canadian Army. Three of his brothers had enlisted in the Air Force. Harry learned trade-school mechanics while in basic training in Edmonton. In 1941, he went overseas and was stationed in England. There he met Grace Taylor, and on August 28, 1945, they were married at St. Peter’s Parish, Walton On The Hill. England. Harry returned to Canada in 1945 and Grace joined him in 1946.

Harry and Grace had three sons. Harry worked on the farm and in the winters at Moon’s Sawmill in Crooked Creed. He lost an arm in an accident at the saw mill in 1951. Harry also worked at the Bezanson Service Station and for the County of Grande Prairie. Harry passed away on May 9, 2005.

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie (p. 45)

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

Share this post