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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Leo Francis Nellis

In memory of:

Rifleman Leo Francis Nellis

December 25, 1941
Village Stanley, Hong Kong

Military Service

Service Number:







Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C.


1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


November 13, 1913
Flatlands, New Brunswick


August 15, 1940
Matapédia, Quebec

Son of Francis Nellis and Margaret Mahoney, of Flatlands, New Brunswick.

Husband of Henriette Gertrude Lyons, of Flatlands, New Brunswick; she was the widow of James Augustus Mann, with whom she had two children, and future wife of James Frank Dolman, service number G-27663, of the 10th Independant Machine Gun Company, New Brunswick Rangers, who was killed in action on 14 April 1945 in Haar, Germany. Leo Francis was the adoptive father of the two children of his wife, and father of Elizabeth Nellis.

Leo Francis served in Québec, in New Brunswick, in Newfoundland with Force W and in Hong Kong with Force C. He was buried in the Stanley cemetery in Hong Kong, but his grave was destroyed because of the combats. He had 436 days of service, including 59 overseas.

Commemorated on Page 40 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Victoria, Hong Kong

Grave Reference:

Column 26.


This SAI WAN MEMORIAL honours over 2,000 men of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died in the defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War. The SAI WAN MEMORIAL is in the form of a shelter building 24 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. It stands at the entrance to Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery, outside Victoria, the capital of Hong Kong. From the semi-circular forecourt, two wide openings lead to the interior of the building. The names are inscribed on panels of Portland stone. The dedicatory inscription reads:

1939 - 1945 The officers and men whose memory is honoured here died in the defence of Hong Kong in December 1941 and in the ensuing years of captivity and have no known grave.

The northern side of the Memorial is open and four granite piers support the copper roof. From a commanding position 305 metres above sea level, it looks out over the War Cemetery where some 1,500 men lie buried, and across the water to Mainland China - a magnificent view of sea and mountains. The Cape Collinson area has many cemeteries. Walking up this narrow one-way traffic road, one will pass the Catholic Cemetery situated on the hillside to the left of the road, and the Hong Kong Military Cemetery on the right. Sai Wan War Cemetery is about half way up Cape Collinson Road and faces the Muslim and Buddhist cemeteries. One can also get a taxi from Chai Wan Terminus and follow the same route. Alternatively, one can board a public light bus, Route No.16M, which runs from Chai Wan MTR Terminus to Stanley. En route to Stanley the minibus will pass Sai Wan War Cemetery.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Circumstances of death
  • Memorial– Rifleman LEO FRANCIS NELLIS is one of 30 members of the Royal Rifles of Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps who are commemorated on this panel of the Sai Wan Memorial.  He was one of 290 Canadian soldiers killed during the defense of Hong Kong, from December 8th to December 25th, 1941.
  • Inscription– Dedicatory inscription of the SAI WAN MEMORIAL.  This memorial  bears the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen, including 228 Canadians.
  • Newspaper clipping– Rifleman LEO FRANCIS NELLIS was reported Killed in Action in the Canadian Army's 242nd overseas casualty list  of the war published in the Globe and Mail on January 8, 1943.
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong.– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong.– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.

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