Malvern College First World War Casualty

Captain Richard Jefferys Nicolls

Photo of Richard Jefferys Nicolls
House and time at Malvern: No 4, 1908 - 1913.

Regiment: Sherwood Foresters.
Died: 01 October 1916 aged 22 in France. Killed in action.
Battle: Battle of the Somme. Cemetery: Peake Wood Cemetery Fricourt

Son of Rev. E. R. J. Nicolls, Trowell, Nottingham, b. 1894.
Upper VVI. Lea Scholar. Reading Prize. School Prefect. Head of House. Champion Athlete. XXII Cricket.
Exhibitioner, Hertford College, Oxford.
Great War, 2nd Lieutenant Sherwood Foresters 1914; Captain 11th Batt.

'He had been a year at Oxford when he volunteered for the war and received his commission in the Sherwood Foresters in September 1914. In July 1915 he went to Gallipoli and was severely wounded in action after the landing at Suvla Bay, in which he took part. He left England for another front last March, saw much fighting and was promoted Captain in July. Letters from officers in his Battalion testify to his courage and cheeriness, his regardlessness of self, and his admirable control of his company. It was while he was looking after his men in some captured trenches "won thanks to his leading," that he was killed by a sniper's bullet on October 1st.
In his early years at Malvern a sensitive nature and a certain veil of irony concealed the independence of view, force of will, and strength of character which came out later, when as Head of his House and as Champion Athlete he occupied a prominent position in the School. Intellectually, his abilities were not such as would have attained great success in the schools, but he had read widely in English and was genuinely fond of literature. He had a fastidious taste in music and possessed a well-trained and pleasing voice. There was in his speech and writing a humorous and epigrammatic quality which was the delight of his friends. To them he was unswervingly loyal; where his affection was enlisted, it knew no reserves. On all those who were privileged to share it the sense of loss weighs heavily.' (Malvernian, Dec 1916).