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William Harold Nichols (1899-1918)

Thornaby tram driver served in 1/8 DLI died as a POW and is buried in Cologne

William Harold Nichols, the son of Emily Maude Nichols and an unknown father, was born on 13 July 1899 in Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire. He was brought up by his mother’s parents, William Joseph and Elizabeth Nichols, and lived in the Thornaby area all his life until he was called up for service in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire on 13 August 1917 while working as a tram driver.

William was initially posted to the 2nd Training Reserve Battalion but on 13 November 1917 was transferred to the 51st (Graduated) Battalion, DLI. After initial training he was sent to France in April 1918 and was transferred to the 1/8th Battalion DLI. William was immediately involved in the fighting when the enemy attacked on the Somme and he was reported missing at Estaires on 10 April during the fighting on the River Lys. He was captured by the enemy and sent to a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp. He died of dysentery in the Reserve Hospital at Julich on 21 November 1918. He was buried in the local cemetery but later re-interred in the Cologne Southern Cemetery,

Civil Parish: Stockton on Tees

Birth date: 13-Jul-1899

Death date: 21-Nov-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 63 York Street, Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire (1901 & 1911 censuses)

Religion: Protestant

Employment: Tram driver (1911 census)

Family: Mother: Emily Maude Nichols

Military service:

51st (Graduated) & 1/8th Battalions, Durham Light Infantry
Service nos.: 81134 & 116134

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Cologne Southern Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Grave Ref.: VIII.F.24
Thornaby-on-Tees War Memorial

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards

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