Given my passion for the aviation side of the Great War conflict, the reference to David Nelson in the New Zealand Communication Trench, October 2011, p14, produced a magnetic attraction. If anybody is wondering, his 1917 service as a pilot on the Western Front was with 59 Squadron RFC, which used RE8 two-seater aircraft for reconnaissance and artillery co-operation work. Let’s explode the myth once and for all – not every Kiwi flyer in those days was a fighter pilot!
Nelson wrote a book – not mentioned in the article. It is The Story of Changi, and as the title suggests, this isn’t strictly an autobiography, although it contains much autobiographical material. Needless to say, t he author’s 1914-18 days aren’t covered. This rather obscure volume was published in Australia in 1974, not long after Nelson’s death, and the only copy I’ve ever seen is the one I presently own, which turned up one day at the bookshop [where Trevor used to work] in a box of donations – and its fate was sealed.
If you have any information about Lt. Nelson, please contact me, thank you.