NICHOLLS, Tararua Augustus Wesley Lawson
(Service number )

Aliases Known as Augustus or Gustave or Gus
First Rank Last Rank Second Lieutenant


Date 18 November 1898 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date *1918 Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Stock agent
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with UK Forces Served in Ait Force
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Royal Flying Corps
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
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

Farmer; agent


Date 8 October 1944 Age 45 years
Place of Death Invercargill
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 47, Plot 414
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Taraua Augustus Wesley Lawson Nicholls, known as Augustus or Gustave or Gus, was the only son of Taraua and Martha (née Berry) Nicholls. He was born on 18 November 1898 at Timaru. He was educated at Waikiwi School in Invercargill and, after the family returned to South Canterbury, at St Andrews and Pareora East schools. His education continued at Timaru Boys’ High School. Did he gain a Junior Free Place at the high school in 1915?

Gus was “a lad who danced,” and was awarded a special prize in the Sailor’s Hornpipe at the Pleasant Point Caledonian Sports meeting in December 1908. At the St Andrews sports held in the following January, he won 5 shillings for his second place in the Sailor’s Hornpipe and a medal for first in the boys under 16 Highland Fling. A step dance by G. Nicholls at the St Andrews School concert was well executed. At the concert in the Timaru Boys’ High School in May 1914, he again gave a step dance. He was also into athletics, winning 5 shillings for his first place in the boys’ under 12 race at the St Andrews Caledonian sports in December 1910. He finished in second place in the boys’ 100 yards open championship at the 1912 Labour Day sports.

A social was held in the Pareora East Hall in July 1915, in aid of wounded boys, Mr Nicholls lending all the crockery fee of charge. Gus Nicholls was still in New Zealand in April 1917, when he was best man at the wedding of his sister, Hilda Nicholls to William Lewis Howard, who was also to serve in World War I, on Easter Monday at St Andrews Church. Some time after, it appears, he left for the United Kingdom. Gus may have gained a First Class qualification as a second year student in Woolclassing at the Technical School in October 1918. Tararua Augustus Wesley Lawson Nicholls, a stock agent, gained his flying certificate in a Caudron Biplane on 30 November 1918 at the Canterbury Flying School at Christchurch. He enlisted in England with the Royal Flying Corps.

After the war, Augustus farmed with his father at Southburn, moving with his parents to Christchurch in the 1930s. G. Nicholls was at the annual ball held by the Pareora bachelors and spinsters in June 1926. While at Southburn he enjoyed success at the Timaru A and P Show in 1928 – first prize for three crossbred ewes with lambs, and second equal for three lambs, live weight not exceeding 60 pounds. At the Show sale following, he sold three lambs at 28 shillings 6 pence and three at 30 shillings.

Tararua Augustus Nicholls married Jessie Harriet Gunn Carrick, known as Jill, in 1942 at Christchurch. Gus and Jill had a son born on 5 October 1943 at Invercargill. Augustus Nicholls died on 8 October 1944 at Invercargill, aged 45 years and predeceasing his father. He was buried at the Timaru Cemetery following a funeral service at Hall and Moore’s Chapel. His mother, a daughter of South Canterbury pioneers, died in 1934. Augustus’ wife, who died in 1984 at Raumati South, aged 80 years, was cremated at Whenua Tapu Crematorium, her ashes being interred with Gus at Timaru. His uncle, William Sidney Valentine Nicholls, enlisted for service, and his cousins, Gordon and Artileur Hoskin, and Harold and Thomas Franklin Parkes, served in World War One.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 November 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [November 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [25 November 2020]; School Admission records [21 & 26 November 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone images (Timaru District Council) [21 November 2020]; Whenua Tapu Cremation record(PoriruaCity Council) [21 November 2020]; Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate ( [21 November 2020]; Timaru Herald, 17 December 1908, 8 January 1909, 20 December 1909, 29 October 1912, 8 May 1914, 13 July 1915, 22 January 1916, 21 April 1917, 23 October 1918, 30 June 1926, 25 & 26 October 1928, Temuka Leader, 3 December 1910, Press, 18 September 1934, 5 October 1934, 9 October 1943, 10 & 14 Oct 1944 (Papers Past) [25 & 26 November 2020]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

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