Born in Ontario, David Thomas Nelmes tasted adventure as a soldier for the Queen's Own Rifles starting at the age of 16. In 1870, after his 1869 discharge, he left for the west, travelling to Chilliwack via New York, the Isthmus of Panama, San Francisco and Victoria. He came to Chilliwack to join his sister, Mary Ann, who had married Isaac Kipp in 1865. In 1875, he married Annie Danbrook, also from Ontario. They had eight sons and one daughter. The fifth son was James Harold (Hal) Nelmes, born on April 26, 1886(1889?) in Chilliwack. He married Louise Owen on September 16, 1920. They had five children. The Christmas card could have been signed by Herbert Nelmes, the youngest sibling.