Admiral Percy Walker NELLES, CB

Admiral Percy Walker NELLES, CB

Admiral Percy Walker NELLES, CB

Admiral Nelles joined the Canadian Fisheries Protection Service as a Naval Cadet in 1908, serving initially in the Canadian Government Ship (CGS) Canada.  In 1910, on the formation of the Canadian Navy he joined HMCS Niobe for training.  From 1913 until 1917 he conducted his training with the Royal Navy (RN) in HM Ships Dreadnought, Suffolk and Antrim, followed by an appointment as Flag Lieutenant to the Director of Naval Service from 1917.  In 1920 he attended the RN Intelligence Course and subsequently was appointed to the staff of Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in Ottawa.  In 1923 he returned to sea in HMS Caledon, followed by the RN Staff College Course in 1925.  On promotion to Commander in 1925 he was appointed Commanding Officer Pacific Coast.  In 1929 he attended the RN Senior Officer Technical Course.  In 1930 he assumed command of the RN cruiser HMS Dragon as an acting Captain, and in 1931 he assumed command of the destroyer HMCS Saguenay as a Commander.  In 1932 he was appointed Commander-in-Charge Halifax. On promotion to Captain in 1933 he attended the British Imperial Defence College (IDC). 

 He was appointed Chief of the Naval Staff in January 1934 – the first Canadian-born and -trained to do so – with promotion to Commodore First Class in July of 1934.  As CNS he was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1938 and Vice-Admiral in 1941. In 1944 he was appointed Senior Canadian Flag Officer Overseas and Head of Canadian Naval Mission (London).  Admiral Nelles was promoted to his current rank on retirement from the Royal Canadian Navy in January 1945.  He died 13 June 1951.