Nelson Jerried Griggs was born on 26th October 1897 in Granby, Quebec, Canada.
The 1901 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Griggs family was living in Shefford, Granby Village, Quebec, Ontario. Head of the household was Asa Griggs aged 23. He was born on the 10th January 1878 in Quebec. He was a Farm Labourer by trade. His wife was Lily Mary Griggs nee Averill, aged 25, she was born on 14th August 1875. Their son is listed as Nelson aged 3.
Nelson Griggs’ Mother died on 13th August 1906 aged 32 years of age. She is buried in the cemetery at St. George’s Church, Granby, Quebec.
The 1911 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.ukreveals that the Griggs family was still living in Shefford, Granby Village, Quebec and it appears that Asa Griggs had remarried. His wife was Janet Griggs aged 34. She was born in February 1877. There was another son listed. He was Raymond aged 7 born in July 1903. As this date is prior to Asa’s previous wife’s death. (Can we assume that he has been adopted by Asa?) Nelson Jerried Griggs was 13 years of age in 1911
Asa Griggs, Nelson’s father, died in 1918.
Nelson J Griggs’s Army records tell us that he enlisted into the 1st Depot Battalion of the Eastern Ontario Regiment on 11th May 1918 at Barriefield, Ontario.He named his Father Asa Griggs as his Next of kin and his address as Granby, Quebec, Box 423. Nelson’s trade at that time was Shoemaker and his status was single.
The 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment was authorized by General Order 89 of 1/9/1917 and by General Order 57 of 15/4/1918.
The aim was to reinforce the 2nd, 21st and 156th Battalions through the 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion, commanded by Lt-Colonel R.W.Smart.
After completeing basic training in Canada, Nelson was transferred to the 72nd Queen’s Battery C.E.F. and he embarked for London, England from Quebec on board The HMT Themistoclies on 10th September 1918. He arrived in England on the 25th October 1918 when he was posted to Whitley Army Camp to complete his training. Hostilities were coming to an end. Nelson was transferred to Kinmel Camp, Rhyl to await repatriation to Canada. Tragically he developed Influenza and died of Bronchial Pneumonia on 27th October 1918 the day after his 21st Birthday.
(From Library and Archives of Canada. Soldiers of the First world war 1914-1918).
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
He was buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan, North Wales.
Nelson is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.