James Nicholson

Medals1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
RegimentRoyal Air Force, 20th Squadron
Military Service

1914 Enlisted in 5 Battalion Cameronians on 10 August as 7090 private and went to France in November.

1916 Invalided home in December with dysentery.

1917 Joined the Royal Flying Corps in June as a cadet. He probable did his basic training at No 2 School of Aeronautics, Oxford between 20 July and 20 September. On 30 August he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and in late September he went to Egypt for flying training as a result of which he was appointed Flying Officer on 26 December.

1918 By March Nicolson had finished training and was sent to RFC Base Depot. It is difficult to interpret his service record at this point and work out what happened in the next few months but on 18 August he was posted to 20 Squadron RAF, a fighter reconnaissance squadron, in France.


c1898 Glasgow

Death23rd September 1918
Circumstances of Death

Nicolson and his observer BW Wilson were killed in action when Bristol F2b Serial Number E2562 was shot down in combat near Villers Outreux, south of Cambrai.

Hillhead High School Roll of Honour states that on a patrol over enemy lines with another five aircraft they were attacked by German planes and had to retreat. Nicolson and his observer noticed one of their planes, with a new pilot, was in difficulty. They turned back to assist and that plane reached safety but Nicolson’s plane was shot down and crashed.

MemorialArras Flying Services Memorial
CWGC Information

Son of James Nicolson, of 22, Viewmount Drive, Maryhill, Glasgow, and the late Martha Kerr Nicolson


James Nicolson (c1871-) & Martha Kerr (c1872-1903)

Father's Occupation

Works manager, Kent Rubber and Leather Works of 36 Leyden Street, Maryhill


Isabella (c1900-)




Hillhead High School


Seems to have worked at the Kent Rubber and Leather Works like his father

1901 Census

338 Gairbraid Street, Maryhill, Glasgow

1911 Census

22 Viewmount Drive, Maryhill, Glasgow

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Eta Lair 204
Other Memorials

Scottish National War Memorial

Other Information

According to the Hillhead High School War Memorial Volume he was a patrol leader in the 82nd (Maryhill) Boy Scouts. He seems to have been good with his hands particularly in woodcarving.

Acknowledgements and Sources

Much of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below.  The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to Hillhead High School War Memorial Trust, Glasgow, Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk), Findmypast (www.findmypast.co.uk),

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – www.cwgc.org

Family Search – www.familysearch.org

The Long, Long Trail – http://www.1914-1918.net/

Scotlands People – www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

The Scottish War Memorials Project – www.warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com

Henshaw, T. The sky their battlefield. Air fighting and the complete list of Allied air casualties from enemy action in the First World War:  Grub Street Publishers, 1995



Compiled by Morag Fyfe, Historical and Genealogical Researcher for The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis.

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