Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 6, 1897
Place of BirthScovil, Rainy River District, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinNels Brynelson (father), Starbuck P.O., Manitoba
Trade / CallingBoarding House Keeper
Service Details
Regimental Number2382937
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion10th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Garrison Regiment
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentStarbuck P.O., Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMay 3, 1916
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 23, 1957
Age at Death60
Buried AtRosewood Memorial Gardens, Brandon, Manitoba
PlotDV 212 D 1

Brynelson, Nels Austin

Sergeant Nels Austin Brynelson was the son of Nels and Augusta Brynelson of Starbuck, Manitoba. His parents were both born in Norway and immigrated to Canada in the mid-1880s. They settled in northwestern Ontario where Nels (Sr) became a section foreman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He worked at several railroad stations just east of Rat Portage, including Summit and Scovil. Their oldest son Chris was born in Oslo, Norway in 1885 and at least nine more children were born in Canada. The first three were twins Richard and Gunhilda (ca1888) and son John Lewis (1890).

Twin boys were born in Summit in September 1891 but they died as infants. Oscar was born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1894 followed Randina in 1895. Nels was born in Scovil, about twelve miles east of Kenora, on 6 September 1897. The youngest son Raidar was born in 1898 and died at age two months. He’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. By the time of the 1901 census Nels and Augusta had moved to Manitoba. They settled in the village of Starbuck and Nels (Jr) and his brothers and sisters attended Starbuck School. The family became involved in the local Farmer’s Co-op and the Starbuck Lutheran Church.

Oscar Brynelson enlisted in January 1916 and went overseas about a year later. Conscription started in Canada in the fall of 1917 and Nels was called up on 3 May 1918. He was twenty years old and living in Starbuck with his occupation listed as boarding house keeper. He was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment and in July he was sent to St. Johns, Quebec. The Armistice ended hostilities in November and Nels returned to Winnipeg that same month. On 21 December he was transferred to the 10th Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment and he served with them for seven months. He was discharged on demobilization on 31 July 1919 in Winnipeg.

Nels returned to Starbuck after the war and later lived in Selkirk and Winnipeg. He was married in Winnipeg on 4 January 1933 to Iva Mae Fetterman and they had one daughter, Phyllis Joyce. Around 1942 Nels and Iva moved to Brandon. He was a member of Brandon Lodge No. 19, AM and FM, and the United Commercial Travellers. Nels passed away on 23 November 1957, at age 60. His funeral was held two days later and he’s buried at Rosewood Memorial Gardens in Brandon. His daughter Joyce (Mrs. Alan Smalley) died in 1980 and Iva passed away in 1997. They are also buried at Rosewood Memorial Gardens.

By Becky Johnson

Grave marker photo courtesy of Canada GenWeb’s Cemetery Project.

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