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

Enlistment Information

Date 29 May 1915 Age 20
Address at Enlistment Catherine Street, Timaru
Occupation Flour mill packer for W. Evans, Timaru
Previous Military Experience Territorials
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin James Nicol (father), 24 Archer St, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5ft 1in, 114lbs, fair complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian and Gallipoli, Western Front
Service Medals British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914-1915 Star
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 5 April 1917 Reason No longer physically fit on account of wounds received in action.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Shrapnel wound in back

Post-war Occupations

Postal employee


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

Biographical Notes

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 [August 2021]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [27 May 2018]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Sahiban Kanwal; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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