NICOL, William John
(Service number 54073)

First Rank Private Last Rank Rifleman


Date 6 May 1890 Place of Birth Burnside Nth. Canty, N.Z.

Enlistment Information

Date 28 March 1917 Age 26
Address at Enlistment Otaio
Occupation Ploughman/farm labourer
Previous Military Experience Territorial Reserve
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin A Nichol (father) Otaio
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5ft 6in, 147lbs, ruddy complexion, blue eyes, brown hair

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 27th Reinforcements G Company
Date 16 July 1917
Transport Athenic
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Liverpool, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 12 September 1918 Age 28
Place of Death Havrincourt, France
Cause Killed in action
Notices Waimate Daily Advertiser 28 Sep 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Grevillers (NZ) Memorial
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Esk Valley War Memorial; Otaio War Memorial; Waimate First World War Memorial

Biographical Notes

William John Nicol was born at Burnside, North Canterbury on 6 May 1890, the son of Alexander and Kathleen Nicol.

By the time of attestation on 28 March 1917 the family was living at Otaio. William was a ploughman and farm labourer, single, and Presbyterian. He was described as being 5ft 6in, weighing 147lbs, with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. He gave his previous military experience as Territorial Reserves and his father as next of kin. Private Nicol joined the 27th Reinforcements, G Company, and embarked at Wellington on 16 July 1917 on the Athenic. Setting sail for Liverpool, England, he disembarked on 16 September, befofe heading on to France a month later on 23 October 1917, where he joined his unit in Etaples.

William was wounded in action on 21 April but immediately rejoined his unit. In July he was sent to hospital sick, but was back in the front within 10 days. The next time was not so lucky. William Nicol was killed in action on 12 September 1918.

His memorial is at Grevillers (NZ) Memorial in France. His medals were sent to his parents at their home in 19 Beverley Rd, Timaru. He is also remembered on the Otaio War Memorial.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph [June 2021]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records [June 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Maree Bowen, SC branch NZSG; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

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