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Andrew Nicol

London rifle Brigade Cemetery. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Lieutenant Andrew Nicol

Lieutenant (Mentioned in Despatches)

6th Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division.

Age: 23

Date of Death: Killed in Action 22.5.16

Buried: London Rifle Brigade Cem II.C.45

Family history: Son of Andrew and Mary Nicol, 109 Stewart Road, Falkirk. Andrew had a younger brother Thomas and two younger sisters Mary and Jeanie.

Andrew graduated from the University of Edinburgh and was studying for the Indian Civil Service when he enlisted in the Royal Scots on the outbreak of the war. He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1915 and joined the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. He was a keen sportsman being a member of the Falkirk High School team that won the Scottish Schools Football Shield. He was also a member of the East Stirlingshire Cricket Club and played in the first eleven.

The action leading to his death

Lieutenant Andrew Nicol was the Battalion Intelligence Officer. He was in the Battalion HQ, having lunch in the mess, at Laurence Farm, Ploegsteert when it was shelled. The War Diary records:

War Diary

His parents received a letter from his fellow officer Captain C Connel who wrote: ‘It is with deep regret that I am writing to you in sending you the deepest sympathy of officers, NCO’s, and men of this battalion in your loss. Everyman in the battalion feels the loss of a great personal friend tonight. He was always a splendid man, so keen, hard working, energetic, the life and soul of everybody. He has always been with me at headquarters as Battalion Intelligence Officer, and I feel his loss greatly. He was buried behind the firing line yesterday with full military honours, and I am sure this, will be some consolation to you at this time.’ The chaplain also wrote to his parents stating that he knew him well and liked him for his ‘energetic capabilities and reverend spirit.’ He added that there was a large attendance at his funeral with the Brigadier-General and the Brigade Staff attending ..and in the grey twilight of a little cemetery behind the lines he was laid to rest with folded arms, like a ‘Good knight of God.’ He concluded that he felt sure that some day not far distant his parents ‘would feel, with a stern pride, that they were able to give such a good gift for their country in its hour of need.’

Linesman. Location of Laurence Farm

Lt Col Winston Churchill had his HQ at Laurence Farm when commanding the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. He resigned from the Cabinet following the Gallipoli fiasco and he joined his old regiment the Oxfordshire Hussars a Territorial Cavalry battalion, then in France, in which he held the rank of Major. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the 6th (Service) Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, a battalion in the 9th (Scottish) Division, in the Ploegsteert sector of the Ypres Salient from 4 January to May 1916.

Site of Laurence Farm today. Authors image


Medals Awarded:

The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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