NICOL, Alexander Stevenson
(Service number 23/1132)
|Aliases||Alex Stevenson NICOL on personnel file.|
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Rifleman|
|Date||18 October 1889||Place of Birth||Bannockburn, Stirlingshire, Scotland|
|Date||29 May 1915||Age||20|
|Address at Enlistment||Catherine Street, Timaru|
|Occupation||Flour mill packer for W. Evans, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience||Territorials|
|Next of Kin||James Nicol (father), 24 Archer St, Timaru|
|Medical Information||5ft 1in, 114lbs, fair complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||D Company|
|Date||9 October 1915|
|Transport||Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima or Navua or Warrimoo|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Egyptian and Gallipoli, Western Front|
|Service Medals||British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914-1915 Star|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||5 April 1917||Reason||No longer physically fit on account of wounds received in action.|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Shrapnel wound in back
|Date||12 August 1948||Age||55 years|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Row 50, plot 22 General Section, Row 50, Plot 52|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Alexander Stevenson Nicol was the son of James Nicol and his wife Marion (nee McGregor). Born in 1889 at Bannockburn, Stirlingshire, Scotland, he was at home at Bannockburn with his family in 1891 and 1901. By 1911 Alexander and siblings Robert, William, Mary and Janet had settled at Timaru with their widowed father.
At the time of his enlistment on 29 May 1915, Alexander was living in Catherine Street, Timaru and working as a flour mill packer at the company of W Evans. He gave his next of kin as his father, James Nicol, 24 Archer St, Timaru. Alexander was described as being 5ft 1in, 114lbs, of fair complexion, with blue eyes, light brown hair, and a Presbyterian, aged 20. He had previous Territorial experience. A note on his attestation file says: "This man is short and his chest measurement one inch below average but as he is only 20 he will probably reach standard." He was put into 1st Battalion, NZ Rifle Brigade and must have 'made the grade' as he embarked at Wellington on 10 September 1915 for Suez and Egypt. There he was sent on to the Western Front in May 1916. Nicol spent three months in the front line before receiving a shrapnel wound to the lower back on 15 September 1916. His medical report notes that after the group reached their objective the fire became so hot that they had to retire to some shell holes a little further back. While making for this cover Nicol was hit in the back by shrapnel causing a compound fracture of the sacrum and ilium. On admission to hospital on 19 September he looked very ill and had a great deal of pain involving infection as well as the original wound. He was seriously ill in Brockenhurst Hospital for three months before being repatriated to New Zealand in January 1917. He was discharged on 5 April 1917, permanently unfit for service with a chronic hip disability. He had served a total of one year 311 days.
After the war Nicol found work with the postal service and married Annie Helliwell in 1921. He died 12 August 1949 and is buried in Timaru Cemetery.
Alexander's brother Robert also served in World War I.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [27 May 2018 & August 2021]; NZBMD; Assorted records at Ancestry.com [August 2021]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [27 May 2018]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Sahiban Kanwal; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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