In Memoriam: Frank Nichols

Frank Nichols

Frank Nichols (B. 1908-10), Private in the 12th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, fell in action in France on 1st July 1916.

He was born in Sheffield in 1893. The 12th Batallion was a Pals Battalion from Sheffield which suffered particularly heavily during the Battle of the Somme.

He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

An account of Frank Nichols death is given in Bootham Magazine, Vol. 8  No. 2 Oct 1916:

“NICHOLS and NORTON. No one can think of these two apart: they came to School together, they moved up the School together, they enlisted together, they were in Egypt together, and on the French front together. Now comes the news that F. NICHOLS is killed and J. W. NORTON wounded. On Saturday, July 8th (sic), they found the front trench, said to be empty, full of the Prussian Guard. The two looked at each other, shook hands, said good-bye, and fixed their machinegun. They shot several Germans, and expected to be riddled with bullets; but a German shell burst a few yards ahead of them, sent their gun flying, and smothered them with debris. NORTON rolled himself into the hole made by the shell, but NICHOLS was a second too late. A bullet pierced his steel helmet and passed through his head, killing him instantaneously. The two friends lay side by side from 8 in the morning till 10 at night, the Germans not suspecting that any living person was within thirty yards. NORTON is in the Red Cross Hospital at Horton (Gloucester), wounded below the knee, and heartbroken at the loss of his chum.”