NICHOLAS, Dudley Arthur
(Service number 55615)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 10 December 1896 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment 12 Allnutt Street, Temuka
Occupation Clerk (Guinness Le Cren)
Previous Military Experience 2nd South Canterbury Regiment - still serving
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs A. NICHOLAS (mother), 12 Allnutt Street, Temuka
Religion Church of England
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 31st Reinforcements, New Zealand Medical Corps
Date 22 November 1917
Transport Tahiti or Maunganui or Willochra
Embarked From Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
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

Accountant; company manager; nursery manager


Date *1982 Age 85 years
Place of Death New South Wales, Australia
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Dudley Arthur Nicholas was born on 10 December 1896 at Temuka, the youngest son of Alfred and Augusta (née Morris) Nicholas. Alfred from Victoria, Australia, and Augusta from the Isle of Wight married in 1886 in New Zealand. Their first child, Evelyn Eugenie Nicholas, died in October 1888 at the age of two. On 16 June 1897 at Temuka, the family suffered a big loss. Alfred died of inflamation of the lungs, leaving Augusta with seven young children, little Dudley only six months old. Corporal Alfred Nicholas, of the Temuka Rifle Volunteers, was accorded a military funeral. Money was collected in Temuka to assist Mrs Nicholas to pay off the debt on the house in which the family lived. Dudley was educated at Temuka District High School, where he met with considerable success – third place in the Preparatory Class in 1903; second equal in 1904; first in Standard II Boys’ Proficiency and an Attendance prize in 1906; another second in 1907, this time in Standard III. In 1908 he received a special prize for Standard IV Composition, and in 1909 a special prize for Standard V Carpentry. And in 1910 he was placed second in Standard VI Merit. In early May 1906 at St Peter’s, Temuka, Dudley was rewarded for second place in Miss Greave’s class. He received another prize at St Peter’s Sunday School in 1909. He would have received a story book or a Bible or a Church Service. He featured in the St Peter’s Sunday School prize list again in 1910.

In April 1917, Dudley Arthur Nicholas, clerk, 12 Allnut Street, Temuka, was one of 358 names drawn in the ballot for the South Canterbury Military District to fill vacancies in the 30th Reinforcements. He had previously enlisted voluntarily. The Temuka and Geraldine soldiers of the 30th Reinforcements were given an enthusiastic farewell at Temuka. The soldiers and their relations were entertained at luncheon in the Drill Hall by the ladies of the Temuka Patriotic Entertainment Committee. The Mayor of Geraldine said that “the men who were going that day were well up to the standard of previous reinforcements, strong, active fellows, and he was and all were sure they would live up to the traditions set by those who had gone before. He wished the men God speed and a safe return.” Of the 618 men who had already gone from the Temuka and Geraldine districts, 63 had made the supreme sacrifice. Headed by the Brass Band, the men marched to the railway station, where a large crowd had assembled. Further short speeches were delivered and a number of Maori women sang farewell songs. As the train steamed out three hearty cheers were given for the soldiers. Among those forming the draft was D. A. Nicholas.

Dudley Nicholas named his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs A. Nicholas, 12 Allnutt Street, Temuka. Private D. A. Nicholas actually embarked for Liverpool, England, with the 31st Reinforcements, New Zealand Medical Corps, on 22 November 1917. After the war, Dudley lived at Marton in the North Island, where he was an accountant and company manager. He married Florence Mary Gibbs (known as Mary) on 3 February 1924 at the Te Awamutu Prebyterian Church. But all was not well with Dudley and Mary. She had left him and he sought restitution of conjugal rights. In 1932 he married Norah Kathleen Steed, whom he divorced in 1936 on the grounds of separation. Some time after, he settled in New South Wales, Australia, working as a nursery manager. He married Gwenyth Mary Cox in 1951 at Burwood, New South Wales. Dudley Arthur Nicholas died in 1982 in New South Wales, aged 85 years. He was buried (ashes?) at Temuka on 1 June 1982 and is remembered on a plaque attached to his parents grave. Gwenyth remained in Australia, dying in 2003 at Tweed Heads.

Two brothers also served in World War One – Lawrence Alfred Nicholas and Sydney Edward Nicholas. Another brother, Victor Walter Nicholas, butcher, 63 Birkett Sreet, Temuka, was called up for service in September 1918. Mrs Augusta Nicholas died in November 1934 at Temuka, survived by three sons and three daughters to “mourn the loss of a mother who had devoted her life to them.”


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [06 October 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [06 October 2021]; Temuka Leader, 25 October 1888, 19 June 1897, 19 December 1903, 24 December 1904, 8 May 1906, 15 December 1906, 21 December 1907, 22 December 1908, 4 May 1909, 28 December 1909, 19 April 1910, 17 December 1910, 29 May 1917, 19 September 1918, Ashburton Guardian, 16 June 1897, Lyttelton Times, 19 June 1897, Timaru Herald, 18 April 1917, 29 May 1917, 16 November 1934, Manawatu Standard, 18 February 1924, 23 May 1930, 21 November 1934, Manawatu Herald, 20 May 1930, Evening Post, 30 November 1936 (Papers Past) [04, 05, 08 & 09 October 2021]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [06 October 2021]; Temuka Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [07 October 2021]; NZ & Australian Electoral Rolls ( [08 October 2021]; NSW Marriage & Death Indexes [09 October 2021]

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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Not assigned.

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