Reginald Alfred Nicholas MBE

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Reginald Alfred Nicholas MBE
Personal Information
Date of Birth 14 Nov 1896
Place of Birth Bristol, England
Death 9 Sep 1990, aged 93
Place of Death Salter Point, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 6 months
Description 5'7½" (1.71m) tall ; 132lbs
59.874 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Draughtsman
Religion Baptist
Address NOK May street, Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Alfred William Nicholas
Military Information
Reg Number 938
Date of Enlistment 12 May 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation Australian Army Medical Corps
Date of Embarkation 24 May 1915 ‒ ?? Jun 1915
Ship Embarked On RMS Mooltan Fremantle to Egypt
Date of Return 19 Jan 1916 ‒ 29 Feb 1916
Ship Returned On HMAT A16 Port Melbourne Portland to Sydney
Fate Returned to Australia (Medical)
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Reg arrived in Australia from London on 2 Apr 1912 aboard SS Orama with his parents and sister.

Was serving in the militia (22nd AAMC). As he was under 19, his parents only gave consent for him to serve as a Hospital worker on Transport Ships.

War Service

Entered camp on 13 May 1915 and was quickly pressed into service as a medical orderly aboard RMS Mooltan which was travelling to Egypt. Soon after arriving in Egypt, Reg was ill with gastro enteritis, and was admitted on 22 Jun 1915 to the 1st Australian General Hospital in Heliopolis, near Cairo. Discharged on 6 Aug 1915 to the Convalescent Hospital in Ras-el-Tin near Alexandria until 13 Sep 1915 when he boarded the SS Dunvegan Castle which left Alexandria for England, calling at either Mudros or Malta to take on further patients destined for English Hospitals.

On arrival in England Reginald was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital at Birmingham University where he was a patient from 24 Sep until 8 Oct 1915. It was decided to return Reginald to Australia on 19 Jan 1916 aboard HMAT A16 Port Melbourne, (its earlier name was HMAT A16 Star of Victoria) and Reginald in a statement made in 1934 (see below) claimed to have volunteered to assist with other medical cases.

"On Service - While in Egypt I was attached to No.1 Australian General Hospital (Enteric Ward) and one day I collapsed in the ward and was put to bed. I understand that I suffered from Malaria and Gastro-enteritis. I was treated for both conditions. After about a fortnight I transferred to Luna Park - a month later to Ras-el-Tin Hospital, Alexandria, then to England as an invalid and treated at University Hospital, Birmingham. Altogether I had about 5 months treatment. I was then invalided back to Australia but I volunteered for work and did this on the Hospital Ship until we reached Africa, where I had another attack of malaria. I was then under treatment and off duty until Sydney was reached. From the time the first attack in 1915 at 1st Australian General Hospital until discharge in 1916 I never rejoined my original unit."

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 12 May 1916

Post War

On 26 Mar 1921 Reg married Lenore Lillian Bottrell in Gosnells. A son Frank Reginald Wyatt Nicholas was born 11 Jan 1922 and he died on 14 Jul 1988. Lenore died on 26 Feb 1991 aged 93 in Manning.

Electoral Roll entries: 1921 at 16 Rosebery avenue, South Perth, draftsman; 1925 - 1937 at 15 Clydesdale street, South Perth; 1943 - 1954 at 17 Hensman street, South Perth, civil servant; 1968 - 1980 at 179 Esplanade, Mt Pleasant; 1980 at 58/10 Roebuck drive Manning.

Reginald enlisted for service during WW2 on 20 Mar 1942 in the Volunteer Defence Corps, with Regimental No. W37534. At the time of his discharge he was a Captain in the Corps Perth HQs.

In October 1946 he along with other Public Servants lodged appeals regarding pay and grade levels, which was reported in the West Australian:-


Board's Sittings Begun, The Public Service Appeal Board yesterday in No. 4 Indus trial Court, heard the first four of 430 appeals against the reclassification of their positions by officers in the service.

Reginald Alfred Nicholas, photo litho draftsman, employed in the Government Printing Office, at present receiving a salary of £577 per annum, claimed the title of officer in charge of lithography, a salary range of £672-£792 and a salary of £792 per annum as from April 23, 1945. He said in evidence that his present title was inadequate. as his whole time was occupied in administration and supervision. Three other witnesses gave supporting testimony. [1]

John was granted an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List on 1 Jan 1969 for services as a member and former President of the Press RSL Sub Branch.


There is one additional entry in his records that states that he was Taken on Strength of the Australian Hospital Ship Karoola ex AAMC General Reinforcements at Sierra Leone on 14 Jul 1917. However, there is nothing in his records to show how he got there, or what he did subsequently.

  1. The West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879 - 1954) Tuesday 29 October 1946 p 3, Article

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