Major David Nelson (3 April 1886 – 8 April 1918) was a Cahans Member and Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Nelson was born Deraghland, Stradnoden, County Monaghan. He was 28 years old, and a sergeant in ‘L’ Battery, Royal Artillery (RHA), British Army during World War I when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 1 September 1914 at Néry, France, Sergeant Nelson helped to bring the guns into action – with an officer (Edward Kinder Bradbury) and a warrant officer (George Thomas Dorrell) – under heavy fire and in spite of being severely wounded. He remained with the guns until all the ammunition was expended, although he had been ordered to retire to cover.
Slowly he recovered from his serious injuries, married and returned to Monaghan where he was treated as a hero and given a ceremonial sword in recognition of his bravery and of the distinction he brought to his home community.
Nelson later achieved the rank of major. He was killed in action at Lillers, France, on 8 April 1918 while on reconnaissance.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Imperial War Museum, London, England.