Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 6, 1898
Place of BirthRainy River, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMurdock Nicholson; father; Katherine Nicholson; mother; 10535 - 126 St., Edmonton, Alberta
Trade / CallingBank Clerk
Service Details
Regimental Number904190
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion14th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment10535 - 126 St., Edmonton, Alberta
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 4, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 27, 1918
Age at Death20
Buried AtBucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux, France
PlotII. L. 19.

Nicholson, Raymond Robert Nairn

Raymond Robert Nairn Nicholson, known as Robin, was one of four children  of Murdoch and Catherine (Kitty) Nicholson. The Nicholsons had come to Rat Portage in the 1880s from P.E.I. In Rat Portage Murdoch opened a shop as a merchant tailor. Their first son, Alfred Samuel, born in 1887, died of pneumonia in 1902. Daughter Ruth was born in 1892, Grace in 1894, and Raymond in 1898.

The family left Kenora prior to the war, settling in Edmonton and later moving to Vancouver. Raymond gave his occupation as a Junior (clerk) with the Quebec Bank when he enlisted in the 194th Battalion (Edmonton Highlanders) in February of 1916. He trained with the battalion and shipped overseas in November of 1916. The 194th, like most of the Canadian battalions after 1915, was broken up for replacement troops with the officers and men going to infantry units already in the field.

Raymond Nicholson was assigned to the 9th (Alberta) Reserve Battalion in January 1917, then transferred to the 4th Labour Battalion and crossed the English Channel to France with the battalion in March where the battalion worked mainly on railway construction.

In the fall of 1917 he was hospitalized on three occasions for health problems. In October for suspected dysentery, followed by scabies later that month and another skin infection – impetigo – in November.

In December of 1917, as the Canadian Corp replaced men lost in the battle of Passchendaele, Nicholson was reassigned from his rear echelon duties to the frontline 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment).  Nicholson fought with the battalion on the front lines throughout the campaigns of 1918 until he was fatally wounded Sept. 27, 1918.

Private Raymond  Nicholson died of his wounds at a casualty clearing station during the Bourlon Wood operation. His army medical file notes he’d received a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  He was one of 202 casualties – dead, wounded and missing – the 14th Battalion suffered during the operation.

He was buried at the Bucquoy Road  British Cemetery, Ficheux near Arras, France where 1,732 British and Canadian dead from the fighting in 1917 and 1918 are interred along with 117 from the Second World War.

Raymond Nicholson is commemorated on page 478 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa and on the Kenora Cenotaph.

by Bob Stewart

newspaper articles: Kenora Miner and News
photo of Nicholson Tailor Shop: Toronto Public Library

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