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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Elmer Gerald Nelson

In memory of:

Major Elmer Gerald Nelson

December 18, 1943

Military Service






The Royal Canadian Regiment

Additional Information


January 28, 1914
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Son of Elmer Davison Nelson, and of Emily Elizabeth Nelson, of London, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 198 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

VII. B. 1.


By the winter of 1943, the German armies in Italy were defending a line stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, to the Adriatic Sea south of Ortona. The Allies prepared to break through this line to capture Rome. For its part, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was to cross the Moro River and take Ortona. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it. Today, there are 1,615 graves in the cemetery, of which over 50 are unidentified and 1,375 are Canadian.

The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery lies in the locality of San Donato in the Commune of Ortona, Province of Chieti, and is sited on high ground near the sea just east of the main Adriatic coast road (SS16). The cemetery can be reached from Rome on the autostrada A25 (Rome-Pescara) by branching on the autostrada A14 and leaving it at Ortona. The approach road to the cemetery from the main road passes under an arch forming part of the little church of San Donato. The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star January 1944. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star January 1944. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Elmer Gerald Nelson– He was a member of the Canadian Officers Training Corps and was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Regiment in London in September 1939. He went overseas in December 1939, trained in England and participated in the liberation of Italy. He was killed during the Battle for Ortona.
  • Remembrance Book– Source: City of London Remembrance books
online since 2005

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