Lost Cousins: Sapper James NICKELL (1894-1916)


img_2851-copySapper James NICKELL, 25042, 7th Coy., Royal Engineers, killed in action in Zillebeke on 19 Jan 1916 and buried at Perth Cemetery (China Wall) in Belgium.

Before enlisting, James was training to be a carpenter like his father, and in the 1911 Census of Ireland he is living with his parents and siblings and is described as an apprentice cabinet maker. It is not know when James enlisted, but his brothers Alfred and William John both joined up in 1915.

In January 1916, 7th Company were positioned in Zillebeke near Ypres. The Company’s diary for that period is online, but Sapper Nickell’s death isn’t mentioned specifically. He was buried initially in Durham Cemetery, Zillebeke, but his remains were later moved to the nearby Perth Cemetery (China Wall).


James NICKELL was born on 31 May 1894 in Ballymacarrett, East Belfast, to parents Robert NICKELL (1869-1937) and Annie HOLMES (1891-1913). He was the third of ten children.

(Photograph from Larne Weekly Telegraph, 12 Feb 1916, via the British Newspaper Archive.)


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