Charles Nelson Kelsh


Feb 11, 1894

Born at Oak Lake, Methuen Township, Ontario


Dec 27, 1915

Attested into the 155th Battalion CEF in Coe Hill, Ontario 

Ø      Number 636236

Ø      Next of kin given as Jane Kelsh, mother, Coe Hill, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

The battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area


Oct 17, 1916


Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott


Dec 5, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Dec 6, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 147 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Dec 8, 1916

After leaving the base depot, Private Kelsh joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Bully Grenay, France.  At some point after joining the battalion, he joined the Specialists Section as a Sniper


Aug 4, 1917

Admitted to the No. 25 Canadian General Hospital in Hardelot, France with a diagnosis that reads Scabies


Aug 27, 1917

Discharged from hospital to the No. 3 Large Rest Camp in Boulogne to continue his recovery


Aug 30, 1917

Discharged from the rest camp and joined the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples and assigned to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Sep 6, 1917

After leaving the base depot he joined the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion in Hersin


Sep 10, 1917

Left the entrenching battalion and rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets in Villers au Bois


Dec 6, 1917

Granted 14 days leave


Dec 24, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Dec 27, 1917

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


Aug 25, 1918

While on Sentry Duty in an outpost, he came under a heavy artillery barrage and received a shrapnel wound to his head that penetrated his helmet and entered his brain.  He was rushed to the battalion dressing station but died shortly after and buried in the Dainville British Cemetery, Dainville, France.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Jane Kelsh, Coe Hill, Ontario



Charles Nelson Kelsh is honoured on both the Bancroft, Ontario War Memorial (above, note the spelling) and the Coe Hill, Ontario War Memorials (below)


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