31 January 1915: Pte Henry Arthur Nicholls

Henry Arthur Nicholls was born 19 February 1895, Birmingham.

Location of Birmingham in England's west midlands (cc OpenStreetMap)

Son of James Nicholls.

He was educated Highfield Road School and initially worked as a machinist. 

St Stephens. Partially damaged in WWI. Destroyed in an air raid in WWII. Partially rebuilt. Demolished in 1956.

29 June 1913 he married Helen (née Ware) at St.Stephen's Church, Walworth. They lived at 178, Westmoreland Road, Walworth. 

Henry enlisted 30 June 1910 in the Coldstream Guards.

Squad of Coldstream Guards at Maxim Gun practice. © IWM Q 67405

Come the war Henry was called up and went to the Front with his Regiment. He  served through the retreat from Mons (incl. Landrecies, Le Grand Fayt and Villers-Cotterets), and the battles of Marne, Aisne, First Ypres - all the severe fighting from 20 October to 20 November 1914.

By November the Guards had occupied trenches dug on a hill full of natural springs and proved impossible to drain; they were constantly full of water above for knee for 23 days.

A gale on 2 November 1914 cleared every particle of cover from the trees having all been pierced through by shrapnel and bullets. Hand grenades thrown at them were on did not always explode, so they picked them up and hurled back again.

On 20 November the Guards were with withdrawn from the line for a short rest.

Woburn Abbey Cemetery is situated at Cuinchy, approx 3 1/2 miles west of La Bassee. Guards Cemetery is situated at Windy Corner, Cuinchy about 1 mile north of Woburn Abbey.  CWGC Image > https://bit.ly/3r6XSrb

Ultimately Henry died of wounds received in action at La Bassée. He was buried in Cuinchy Churchyard. 

Pension Card for Pte Henry Nicholls from The Western Front Association digital archive on Fold3 by Ancestry

8777 Pvt Henry Arthur Nicholls 8777 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards.

31 January 1915

Sources: Du Ruvigny's, The Western Front Association Pension Ledgers & Cards digital archive on Fold3 by Ancestry, The Commonwealth War Grave Commission at Cuinchy Cemetery; Exploring London