Frederick Jennings Nicholls

In 1901 the Nicholls family were living on the High Street, West Haddon. At that time the Head of the Household, William Nicholls Jnr, aged 36, an agricultural labourer born in West Haddon shared the home with his wife Elizabeth aged 38, born in Ravensthorpe, their two sons Charles aged 11 and Frederick aged 10, and three daughters: Elsie aged 8, Ethel aged 5 and Annie (Gertrude) aged 1 All five children had been born in West Haddon.

In 1911 the family had moved to Manor Lodge Farm, West Haddon. At that time the family consisted of two sons and four daughters. Charles and his father were both described as waggoners on farm while Frederick J was described as a milkman on farm.

Details in the 1911 census show a total of 12 children had been born in the marriage of which 8 were living. An examination of the record of baptisms in Parish Records, which may be of interest, shows the following baptisms of children born to William and Elizabeth:

Annie Laura baptised 11/3/1885 Deceased 21/3/1885 aged 10 weeks
William Thomas baptised 18/6/1888 Deceased 7/7/1888 aged 5 months
Charles William baptised 6/10/1889
Frederick Jennings baptised 15/11/1890
Elsie baptised 2/7/1893
Ethel baptised 1/3/1896
Sydney George baptised 26/12/1897 Deceased 30/12/1897 aged 4 months
Gladys baptised 7/10/1906

Another of their children is likely to have been John George baptised on 13/10/1894 and buried on 25/10/1894 aged 10 weeks. The entry in the register of baptisms shows the parents as William and Nicholls. This is clearly an incorrect entry. It is probable the mother was Elizabeth.

I was not able to find any military records in respect of Fred Nicholls. An entry in the Northampton Mercury dated 25th August, 1916 however reported that “Private Fred Nicholls, Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) the son of Mr and Mrs W Nicholls, West Haddon has written to say he is a prisoner in Germany. He had been missing since July 13th when he was last seen bandaging a wounded comrade”. I subsequently discovered he served in France and his service number was 41703.

He died in Bournemouth in 1972 aged 82

(Jim Blakey 6th December, 2015)