Nelson was born in Purton in 1894; in 1911 he was living with his parents and was employed locally as a Farm Carter, John, his father, who was a Farm Labourer and his Mother, Mary Ann who was a Charwoman at Norris Farm, Avebury along with his two sisters Adelaide a Nurse/Domestic, Eva and his younger brother John who were both still at school. On the 31 Aug 1914 Nelson enlisted into the army at Devizes, after 5 months of training he arrived in France on the 19 January 1915 eventually joining ‘A’ Company of the 1st Battalion (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Wiltshire Regiment at Locre, Belgium on the 27 January 1915 as part of a draft of 128 men.
On the 15 Apr 1915 Private Nelson Caldwell was injured (Suffered an abrasion) on the front line and was sent to a rest camp at with the 8th Field Ambulance at Westoutre, Belgium to recover. Following his discharge, he returned to the trenches on 25 Apr 1915.
On the 20 th May 1915 aged 21, Nelson died of wounds, the 1 st Wiltshire Regiment War Diary for that day, simply states: ‘1st Wiltshire, Location, Belgium, Elzenwalle, Entry, Enemy shelled over ELZENWALLE Chateau in the afternoon, considerable sniping by night. One man wounded’. Whether it was Nelson who was wounded was unclear, but both prior to and after the 20 th May 1915 there was heavy sniper activity in the area resulting in a number of wounded or killed.
Between Nelson’s arrival on the 27 January 1915 and his death on the 20 May 1915, he served and fought with his Regiment at the following front line Trench locations, Locre, Kemmel, La Clyte, Dickebush, Vermezeel and Elzenwalle in Belgium.
Nelson is buried at ELZENWALLE BRASSERIE CEMETERY, I. D. 2. (Flanders, Belgium), his parents John and Mary, whose address was now recorded as The Turnpike, Rockley Road, Marlborough, had the following inscription added to their sons headstone "IN EVER LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR SON, GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN"