NICHOLLS, William John
(Service number 36354)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 9 September 1882 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 20 September 1916 Age 34 years
Address at Enlistment 420 Montreal Street, Christchurch
Occupation Joiner
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. One child
Next of Kin Mrs E. NICHOLLS (wife), 420 Montreal Street, Christchurch
Religion Wesleyan
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 21st Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company
Date 21 January 1917
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Regiment

Military Awards

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 20 March 1953 Age 70 years
Place of Death Nelson
Memorial or Cemetery Whakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson
Memorial Reference RSA Block1, Plot 58
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William John Nicholls was born on 9 September 1882 at Timaru, the older son of William and Mary Jane Jackson (née Hughes) Nicholls. His father, who was a compositor with the “Timaru Herald”, died on 26 May 1884 at Timaru. William was only 20 months old and his younger brother, Francis, three months old. In 1895 Mary Jane Jackson Nicholls married Albert Mulford, by whom she had three more children.

William married Edith Hamilton on 12 May 1904 at Christchurch. Their son, William Hamilton Nicholls, was born on 20 September 1904 at Christchurch. Edith was William’s nominated next-of-kin when he left Christchurch and enlisted on 20 September 1916 at Trentham. He had served for eight years with the Ashburton Rifles Volunteers until he left the district.

William and Edith appeared to go their separate ways, and he married Rata Emma Ford in 1949. Private W. J. Nicholls, 36354, Canterbury Regiment, died on 20 March 1953 at Nelson, aged 70 years. He was buried at Whakapuaka Cemetery in the servicemen’s area.

William John Nicholls and Arthur Spargo Clarke, who were both born at Timaru and who both served in World War One, shared a grandmother, Sarah Spargo. Sarah married John Nicholls in 1855 and, after John’s death, married William Clarke (1863).


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 November 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [26November 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone images (Timaru District Council) [21 November 2020]; Timaru Herald, 16 September 1916 (Papers Past) [26 November 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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