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Richard Nickson was born in 1895 in Preston to Peter Richard and Ann Nickson (nee Kelsall). Peter and Ann were married in Garstang in 1883 and after their marriage they moved to live at 70 Meadow Street in Preston. Prior to his marriage Peter Nickson had been working as a bobbin turner but by the time of the 1891 Census he had become a Professor of Music.

The 1901 Census shows that the family had moved from Meadow Street to number 34 Cato Street in Preston and by this time they had seven sons and four daughters; Mary Elizabeth (1883), John (1885), Christopher (1887), Florence (1890), Winifred (1892), Richard (1895)*, Henry (1896), Francis (1897), Herbert (1899), Joseph (1900) and Ethel Maud (1901). Peter Nickson`s occupation was still recorded as being a self-employed Professor of Music.

Ten years later the 1911 Census record notes that Ann Nickson was now a widow and was living in three rooms at 9 Andrew Street in Preston  with nine of her children; John, Christopher, Winifred, Richard, Henry, Francis, Herbert, Joseph and Ethel and at the time sixteen year old Richard was working in a mill as a cotton creeler.

On the 15th September 1914 Richard signed up to serve for four years with the Territorial Force at Preston. He was unmarried and still living at home with his mother Annie at 9 Andrew Street and had previously been working at the Peel Mill in Preston. He was allocated the service number 2560 and was posted to the 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The Medical Officer noted that Richard was 5`9” tall, had normal vision and that his physical condition was good. For official purposes his mother Annie Nickson was named as his next of kin.

Richard sailed to France with the 1/4th Battalion as a member of “A” Company on the 4th May 1915 and he would have taken part in the first major action undertaken by the Battalion at Festubert on the 15th June 1915 in which they suffered enormous losses.  On the 24th June 1915 the 51st (Highland) Division which included the 1/4th Battalion were ordered to re-join the Indian Corps and were despatched to relieve the Lahore Division in the sector south of Laventie. On this date the Battalion marched with the 154th Brigade by Lestrem, La Gorgue, Estaires and Laventie to Fauquisart where it took over the trenches on a front extending from a point 300 yards north-west of Rue d`Enfer for about 400 yards, the Scottish Rifles being on the left and the Royal Lancaster`s on the right. The area they were in was overlooked by Aubers Ridge which was being occupied by the enemy.

Sadly, on the 11th July 1915 Richard was shot and killed by a sniper while the Battalion was occupying the trenches at Levantie.

Captain Booth of the 1/4th Battalion later sent a letter of sympathy to Richard`s mother and afterwards the following article was printed in the local paper.2560 Private Richard Nickson

Richard was later buried in Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery at Fleurbaix. His mother had the following inscription put on her son`s headstone;

“MAY THE LORD HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL AND MAY HE REST IN PEACE”

After the war Ann Nickson signed for the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals that her son was entitled to.

Rank: Private
Service No: 2560
Date of Death: 11/07/1915
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Cemetery: RUE-PETILLON MILITARY CEMETERY, FLEURBAIX

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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One Response to 2560 PTE. R. NICKSON. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Fran Wood says:

    Hi Janet
    Thank you for your post . Richard Nickson was my Grandad Francis Nicksons older brother. I didn’t know he had so many brothers and sisters, and that his brother had died in WW1.Since researching my fathers family tree I found out that my grandfathers father Peter Nickson went to America in 1903, so Ann Nickson was not a widow.

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