Thomas Henry Nicholls 1892 – 1917

Thomas Henry Nicholls was born in 1892 in Worcestershire to Samuel and Eva (nee Butler) Nicholls. Samuel and Eva married on the 25th March 1886 in the Parish Church at Shipston in Worcestershire. On their wedding certificate Samuel is shown to be occupied as a painter whilst Eva was working as a domestic servant. The family would move from Worcester to Mortehoe, presumably for work, where they would live in 6 Ada’s Terrace, on Chapel Hill (shown above) The family home would consist of Samuel, Eva and their 6 children. Driver Thomas Henry Nicholls of the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery; formerly 12791 of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps would die on the 23 July 1917 aged 25. The family would receive the very sad news of Thomas’s death in 1917, the details were published in the local newspaper at the time: “Mr. and Mrs. S. Nicholls of Mortehoe have received the sad intelligence that their second son, Driver Thomas Nicholls, R.F.A., has died in Salonica presumably of malarial fever. The sympathy of the inhabitants is being extended to the bereaved parents and their relatives in their great loss. The deceased was of a bright and happy disposition and was much liked by everyone who knew him, and his death is much regretted. He was 25 years of age. He enlisted to serve his King and country in November, 1915 and saw service in France previous to being sent to Salonica. An elder brother is serving in India.

On Sunday afternoon a memorial service was held at the Parish Church (where the deceased was one of the bell ringers previous to enlistment), and was largely attended by sympathising friends. The father, sisters, and other relatives of the deceased soldier were also present. The service was impressively conducted by the Rev. T. F. Daffen (Vicar).” The family continued to live in Mortehoe, where sadly a few years later Eva, Thomas’s mother would die at home on the 10th March 1919. Leaving Samuel a widow. On the 26th June 1924 their eldest daughter, Edith married Mr Frederick W. H. Gammon of Mortehoe. On her wedding day Edith would be walked down the aisle in Mortehoe Parish Church by her father, she would be wearing a fawn crepe-de-chine with a matching hat and carrying an ivy bound prayer book, her sisters Ivy and Violet would be her bridesmaids. Following the ceremony the family and guests returned to Ada’s terrace, to the family home, for a wedding breakfast. On the 21st February 1928 her sister, Ivy Elizabeth married Samuel James Holwill of Mortehoe A few years later, in 1931 Samuel would die at home, the North Devon Journal reported that “many friends learnt with regret of the death at Barricane Farm, Mortehoe of Mr Samuel Richard Nicholls, aged 70. He had died suddenly of heart failure. Mr Nicholls was a most respected inhabitant of the area.

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