Thu | Nov 30, 2023

The story of Patrick Nelson

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2015 | 12:49 PM


I am writing a book about the life experiences of a Jamaican called Patrick Nelson (his full name was Leopold St Patrick Nelson). I will explore topics including his experiences of migrating to Britain in the 1930s, his experiences working as an artists? model for Bloomsbury group artists including Duncan Grant, his experiences serving in the British army during the Second World War and of returning to Jamaica after the war.

Patrick was born in Kingston in 1916. His father, Leopold, played for Lucas Cricket Club and the Jamaica national team as a wicket-keeper. His mother was Gertrude Nelson.

He lived in Britain during the late 1930s and again in the early 1960s until his death in 1963. He moved to Britain in 1937 and again in 1938 - first migrating to Britain to work for the brother of Lord Stanley as a valet in Penrhos, Anglesey, Wales. He trained as a hotel valet with Captain Rutty, of the Manor House Hotel, Constant Spring.

He served with the British army in the Second World War and enlisted with the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps and was posted to France in early 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force. He was injured and captured in May 1940 before he could be rescued in the evacuations and for over four years he was a prisoner of war in various Nazi prison camps until late 1944.

He was repatriated to Jamaica in 1945 and spent most of the late 1940s and 1950s in Jamaica working in temporary positions as a valet in various hotels and in the public works department and also spent time conducting research at the Institute of Jamaica.

I would like to make contact with possible relatives of Patrick?s or anyone who may have worked with him in the hotel industry. I can be contacted by emailing

Dr Gemma Romain