The son of Vice Admiral John Dodd Nares, he entered Dartmouth College in May 1926 and from Jan 1930 was a cadet and midshipman in the Tiger, Atlantic Fleet, and the Emerald, East Indies. On completing his course in 1934 he was confirmed sub-lieutenant from the previous September and specialised in submarines, serving in L23. He was promoted lieutenant in Jan 1936 and joined the sloop, Bideford, for service in the Persian Gulf. That October he was selected to qualify as an air observer and from June 1937 was an observer officer in the Furious.
He became Commanding Officer of 822 Squadron and led the attack on La Senia airfield, in French held North Africa, in Operation Torch on 8 Nov 1942. 47 enemy aircraft were destroyed for the loss of only 4 from his own squadron. Unfortunately, he was one of the few victims when the Fairey Albacore, from which he was observing the attack, was shot down. His name is listed on the Lee on Solent Memorial in Hampshire.
He married Marguerite MacFarlane, youngest daughter of William J Macfarlane, at Chelsea Register Office on 23 Sep 1941, and they had a son, Anthony James, (b. 1942).