Service number: 16475 | Rank: Private | Regiment: Norfolk Regiment.
Killed in action, February 2, 1916, in Flanders.
Buried at WHITE HOUSE CEMETERY, Belgium.
Born in Swaffham, enlisted at London.
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT REGINALD …
Reginald Nichols, or Reg as he was known, was born in Swaffham in 1897. When his father died his widowed mother brought their family to Brandon to live with her parents who at the time ran the Ram Hotel. It appears that during the war Reg was living across the river with his uncle and aunt, who lived at the Ouse Private Hotel, alongside the Brandon bridge. When he became old enough to enlist he did so in London and served in the Norfolk Regiment.
On 1st February 1916 Reg’s unit were reorganised and a handful of men were even allowed leave. It seemed like it was “all quiet on the Western Front” for Reginald Nichols, and even the War Diary of the 9th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, indicated this for 2nd February,
“Fine but cloudy, quiet day.”
… but then it delivered an under stated entry for the same day declaring …
“Casualties, four killed, two wounded, other ranks.”
Eighteen year old Reg was one of those killed and it seems the enemy artillery had got him. His uncle, Arthur Rolph, received a letter from one of Reg’s comrades and in it Private H.G. Suffling wrote,
“It gives me great pain to inform you that your nephew, my chum, Reg Nichols has been killed by a shell. I was only six yards from him at the time. His death was instantaneous.”