Nicholl, James (No. 60179)

Nicholl, James

Gunner

No. 60179, 10 Battery, Royal Field Artillery

Accidentally drowned at Bangor on Friday 14 September 1917 (aged 25)

Buried:

Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground (Screen Wall H. 536)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Balmoral Industrial School Roll of Honour

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 507)

BIOGRAPHY

In some records his surname is spelt Nichol.

There is considerable inconsistency between the ages of individuals recorded in different official records.  In this biography any ages stated (in brackets) are as they are recorded in the official record being quoted.

James Nicholl was born on 14 January 1892 at 18 Byron Place, Belfast, and he was a son of Andrew and Anna Isabella (sometimes Annabella) Nicholl (nee Irvine, sometimes Ervine, sometimes Irwin) who were married on 9 January 1891 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.  Andrew Nicholl, a full-age widower from 18 Byron Place, Belfast was working as a weaver and he was a son of James Nicholl, a labourer.  Annabella Irvine, a full-age spinster from 18 Byron Place, Belfast was working as a spinner and she was a daughter of William John Irvine, a labourer.

Andrew and Annabella Nicholl (nee Irvine) had four children:

James (born 14 January 1892 at 18 Byron Place, Belfast when his father was working as a porter)

Andrew (born 5 May 1894 at 7 Jordan Street, Belfast when his father was working as a labourer)

Arthur Acheson (born 4 August 1896 at 20 Pernan Street, Belfast when his father was working as a labourer)

Samuel (born 20 April 1898 at 1 Harold Street, Belfast when his father was working as a labourer)

In 1901 the Nicholl family was living at 56 Walton Street, Belfast and in their census return Andrew Nicholl described himself as an Army Pensioner (aged 67).  Annabella was described as a yarn spinner (aged 30).

Andrew Nicholl died of bronchitis at 56 Walton Street, Belfast on 3 May 1903 (aged 54).  He was buried in Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground (aged 70 in Belfast City Cemetery records).

Annabella Nicholl (nee Irvine) and Samuel Donnelly were married on 19 February 1906 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.  Samuel Donnelly (aged 46), a rougher from 55 Walton Street, Belfast was a son of Thomas Donnelly, a labourer.  Annabella Nicholl (nee Irvine) (aged 39), a spinner from 55 Walton Street, Belfast was a daughter of William John Irvine, a labourer.

Samuel and Annabella Donnelly (formerly Nicholl, nee Irvine) had one daughter:

Annie Elizabeth (born 31 July 1906 at 56 Walton Street, Belfast)

The 1911 census return for 56 Walton Street, Belfast lists five residents:  Samuel Donnelly (aged 49), a flax rougher; his wife of seven years, Annabella Donnelly (aged 40); his daughter Elizabeth Donnelly (aged 4); his stepson Andrew Nicholl (aged 16), an apprentice boot maker, and his stepson Samuel Nicholl (aged 12), a general labourer.  In 1911 James Nicholl was in the Army and Arthur was a boarder at the Balmoral Industrial School situated in the townland of Ballygammon, Ballygomartin, Belfast.  Before joining the Army, James Nicholl had also been a boarder there.

James Nicholl enlisted in Belfast on 3 December 1909; he declared that he was a labourer and that he was 18 years 11 months old; he was in fact 17 years 11 months old.  He served in South Africa.

Annie Elizabeth Donnelly died of broncho pneumonia at 53 Walton Street, Belfast on 1 February 1913 (aged 6) and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground.

Samuel Donnelly died of bronchitis and cardiac failure at 53 Walton Street, Belfast on 16 April 1916 (aged 54) and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground.

During the Great War, Gunner James Nicholl (No. 60179) served with the Royal Field Artillery and went to France in May 1915.  He was awarded a trio of medals, including the 1914-15 Star.

Gunner James Nicholl (No. 60179) died of ‘asphyxia due to accidental drowning’ while bathing at Bangor, Co. Down on 14 September 1917 and he was buried on 18 September 1917 in Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground (name inscribed on Screen Wall H. 536).

His mother, Annabella Donnelly (formerly Nicholl, nee Irvine) died in Belfast City Hospital, 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast on 3 April 1929 (aged 57) and she was buried in Belfast City Cemetery – Glenalina Extension (Grave T 344).

Also buried in that grave were Sarah Nicholl who died on 16 September 1989 (aged 88) and Andrew Nicholl who died on 19 May 1947 (aged 53).

A male child of Arthur and Sarah Nicholl died on 11 February 1933 (aged half an hour) and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery Public Ground

Gunner James Nicholl (No. 60179) is commemorated in the Balmoral Industrial School Roll of Honour, and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 507).