John Nelson (British Army officer)

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Sir John Nelson
Died1993 (aged 80–81)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1933–1968
RankMajor General
UnitGrenadier Guards
Commands heldBritish Forces in Berlin
London District
4th Guards Brigade Group
1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
1st Guards Parachute Battalion
3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross

Major General Sir Eustace John Blois Nelson KCVO CB DSO OBE MC (1912–1993) was a senior British Army officer who commanded the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards during the Second World War and later served as Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of the barrister Roland Nelson and educated at West Downs School[1] and Eton College,[2] Nelson entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Grenadier Guards in 1933.[3]

He served in the Second World War, latterly as Commanding Officer (CO) of the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards during the Italian Campaign.[3]

After the war he became CO of the 1st Guards Parachute Battalion in Palestine, before transferring to the War Office as a General Staff Officer (GSO) in 1948.[3] He was CO of the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards in Tripoli from 1950 until 1952, when he became a GSO at London District.[3] In 1954 he joined the British military staff in Washington, D.C. and in 1959 he commanded the 4th Guards Brigade Group in Germany.[3] He was made Major-General commanding the Household Brigade and General Officer Commanding (GOC) London District in 1962 and Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin in 1966.[3] He retired from the British Army in 1968.[3]

Following his death in 1993, a memorial service was held at Wellington Barracks, London.[4]


He married Lady Margaret Jane Fitzroy, granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Grafton.[5] His second daughter, Juliet Auriol Sally Nelson, married Captain Sir Montague John Cholmeley, 6th Bt. (b. 27 Mar 1935, d. 25 Nov 1998).[6] In 1999, his elder daughter, Jennifer Forwood, received the title of Baroness Arlington, which had been abeyant since the death of Nelson's brother-in-law the 9th Duke of Grafton in 1936.[7]


  1. ^ Old West Downs Society
  2. ^ "Stimme der Wahrheit": German-language broadcasting by the BBC By Charmian Brinson and Richard Dove, p. 208
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  4. ^ Court Circular The Independent, 22 April 1994
  5. ^ Airgale Archived 20 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 226.
  7. ^ "The Barony of Arlington (Hansard, 27 May 1999)". 27 May 1999. Retrieved 13 February 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Durie, William (2013). The British Garrison Berlin 1945–1994. Vergangenheitsverlag. ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir George Burns
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir Basil Eugster
Preceded by
Sir David Yates
Commandant, British Sector in Berlin
Succeeded by
Sir James Bowes-Lyon