Personal info

  • Name: Henry James NICHOLAS
  • D.O.B: 11th June, 1891
  • D.O.A: 3rd December, 1917
  • D.O.D: 23rd October, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 1st Battalion The Canterbury Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force
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Polderhoek Château, Belgium

3 December 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 3 December 1917 New Zealand troops, who were holding part of the line in the Ypres Salient, attacked a German strongpoint in and around the ruins of Polderhoek Château, to the west of Poezelhoek, just north of Gheluvelt, in an attempt to strengthen the Front. They suffered heavy casualties and the attack failed to achieve any lasting advantage.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack. Pte. Nicholas, who was one of a Lewis gun section, had orders to form a defensive flank to the right of the advance which was subsequently checked by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from an enemy strong point. Whereupon, followed by the remainder of his section at an interval of about twenty-five yards, Pte. Nicholas rushed forward alone, shot the officer in command of the strong point, and overcame the remainder of the garrison of sixteen by means of bombs and bayonet, capturing four wounded prisoners and a machine gun. He captured this strong point practically singlehanded, and thereby saved many casualties. Subsequently, when the advance had reached its limit, Pte. Nicholas collected ammunition under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. His exceptional valour and coolness throughout the operations afforded an inspiring example to all. 

Sixth Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 January 1918. 11 January 1918, Numb. 30471, p. 724

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