Topic: Sgt. Henry James Nicholas

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World War 1 V.C. Winner

Born in Lincoln on 11 June 1891 to Richard and Hannah Nicholas. He attended Christchurch Normal School (in Cranmer Square) and Christchurch East School. He was apprenticed to a builder, and his occupation on enlistment was as a carpenter. Nicholas had a reputation as a good sportsman, and was well known in New Zealand as an amateur boxer. He was unmarried.

Nicholas was officially awarded the Victoria Cross following his bravery in action at Polderhoek (Belgium) on 3 December 1917. He was officially invested with the VC while on leave at Buckingham Palace by H.M. King George V in July 1918.

He was awarded the Military Medal posthumously for his bravery in action during the fight for the bridgeheads at the River Ecaillon near the village of Beaudignies on 23 October 1918, 12 days before the New Zealanders' capture of the town of Le Quesnoy.

Nicholas died 23rd October 1918 aged 26 and was buried with full military honours, on the 29th of October in Vertigneul Churchyard, Romeries. Both of his medals are held by Canterbury Museum.

Source: Christchurch City Libraries

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Sgt. Henry James Nicholas


First Names:Henry
Last Name:Nicholas
Place of Birth:Lincoln