William Arthur Nicholls

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Oct 20, 1896

Born at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire England


Jun 14, 1915

Attested into the 59th Battalion at Ottawa Ontario 

Ø      Number 454347

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Arthur Nicholls, mother, of 420 Gloucester St, Ottawa Ontario

o       This was later changed to read 550 Albert St, Ottawa Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Salvation Army

Ø      Assigned to “C” Company 

The Battalion’s initial training was done at the Barriefield Camp, Kingston Ontario


Apr 1, 1916

Embarked the RMS Olympic at Halifax Nova Scotia

Even though the Battalion embarked on this date, the ship didn’t sail until April 5th.


Apr 11, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to Shorncliffe


Jul 6, 1916

The 59th Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at the West Sandling Camp


Aug 10, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Aug 12, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France as part of a draft of 77 Other Ranks coming from England.  TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Aug 27, 1916

Left the CBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Aug 29, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at the Halifax Camp


Sep 17, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion who had just been relieved from their position in the Sugar Factory on The Somme and had moved into billets at the Brickfields at Albert to clean up and reorganize after suffering heavy losses in that attack


Oct 1, 1916

Admitted to No 2 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) diagnosed with ICT (Inter Connective Tissue) infection in his right toe


Oct 2, 1916

Transferred to No 10 CFA


Oct 9, 1916

Transferred to No 9 CFA


Oct 16, 1916

Transferred to No 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) and the same day was loaded onto the Ambulance Train #32, for transport to hospital


Oct 17, 1916

Admitted to No 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne


Oct 21, 1916

Transferred to the No 7 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne


Oct 25, 1916

Transferred to the No 3 Large Rest Camp at Boulogne


Oct 28, 1916

TOS the CBD and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Nov 10, 1916

Left the CBD for the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Nov 13, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin along with 13 other reinforcements destined for the 21st Battalion


Dec 12 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the front line trenches near Bully Grenay


Apr 9, 1917

During the advance on Vimy Ridge, Pte Nicholls was instantly killed

He was initially buried near where he fell, but after the war his remains were exhumed and moved to an organized cemetery

Lievin Communal Cemetery
Pas de Calais France

It is of interest to note that he made out a new will leaving his estate to his mother 3 days earlier, on Good Friday. 

Following the war, the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs A Nicholls, at Laurentian View Post Office, Ottawa Ontario

The Plaque, (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Arthur Nicholls, at the same address


Pte Nicholls is Honoured on a plaque in the Aylesbury Methodist Church, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire England
Fourth name from the bottom, right hand column

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