Private 31220 Abraham Nicklin

Nicklin Abraham 96 338x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 6th October 1917, age 32.
Commemorated on Panel 90 to 92 and 162 to 162A of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Brigade of 7th Division.

Husband of Mary Ann Nicklin, of 2, Tudor Street, Coneygree Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Park Chapel memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/832252/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Abraham Nicklin registered September quarter 1886 in Dudley.

1901 Census
85 Owen Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Daniel Nicklin (52, Greengrocer, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (51, born Tipton), and their 3 children: John (21, Greengrocer's Assistant, born Tipton), William (18, Greengrocer's Assistant, born Tipton), and Abraham (15, Greengrocer's Assistant, born Tipton).

1911 Census
85a Owen Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Daniel Nicklin (61, Fish Dealer, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (59, born Tipton), and 3 of their 6 surviving children of 7: William (27, Fish Dealer, born Tipton), and Abraham (25, Fish Dealer, born Tipton), and Annie (20, born Tipton).

Marriage of Abraham Nicklin and Mary Ann Smith registered June quarter 1916 in Dudley. A daughter was born in 1916, she was either named Harriet or Lillian.

Personal Data

After Abraham's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/19/2d (2 pounds, 19 shillings and 2 pence); this was paid to his widow, Mary A., in February and June 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Abraham had enlisted within the previous 12 months.

Action resulting in his death

4th October was the Battle of Broodseinde, the third of Plumer's 'limited objective' offensives aiming to complete the capture the Gheluvelt Plateau and the occupation the Broodseide Ridge. The 1st South Staffs Regiment was east of Polygon Wood, which itself was east of Ypres, Belgium. They were to mount an attack whose objective was a level stretch of countryside consisting mostly of shellholes and pillboxes. The importance of gaining this ground was that it would protect the right flank of the Australians who were to attack the 'Broodseinde' position.

The attack commenced at 6am and progressed steadily according to the timetable; the right flank of the attack came under considerable machine gun fire and suffered many casualties. The South Staffs War Diary records that "a large number of Germans were shot and bayonetted; none of the pillboxes encountered gave much trouble." The Battalion advanced 900 yards over a frontage of 450 yards capturing 'Jolting House Trench'. An estimated 150 Germans were killed and 80-100 prisoners were taken.

During the 5th October, sniper fire from Judge Copse and machine gun fire from the area of Polderhoek caused considerable casualties. Heavy shelling commenced later in the day throughout the South Staffs area, and continued overnight. The 1st South Staffs were relieved on the night 6th/7th October.

During the action, the 1st South Staffords had 3 officers and 59 Other Ranks killed, over 200 men were wounded. This included 4 Tipton men who were killed: Private Thomas Gulliver and Lance Corporal Paul Griffiths on the 4th October, Lance Corporal George Cook on the 5th October, and Private Abraham Nicklin on the 6th October. None of the 4 men has a known grave, all are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald October 20th 1917
Private Eb. Nicklin, a son of Mr and Mrs Nicklin of Owen Street, Tipton, has been reported by another soldier to have been hit during a recent battle in France. Definite news concerning the soldier has not yet been officially received.

Tipton Herald December 1st 1917
NICKLIN - October 6th, killed in action in France. Abraham, aged 32, youngest son of Mr and Mrs David Nicklin, Owen Street, Tipton. Deeply mourned by wife and child, parents, sisters and brothers.

Tipton Herald December 15th 1917
Another Tipton Hero
Private A. Nicklin
By the death in action of Private Abraham Nicklin (popularly known as "Eb"), the fifth and youngest son of Mr and Mrs Daniel Nicklin, Owen Street, Tipton, another young man who was widely known and respected in the town and district, has been sacrificed in defence of home and Empire.
The late Private Nicklin was married and 32 years of age, and was killed in action on October 6th. He joined the 1st South Staffs on October 26th last year.
The parents received a letter from a comrade (F.H. Stanford of New Cross Street - Editor note, Stanford survived) immediately their son fell in battle. The writer stated that "he did his duty as a soldier and a man; he was very cheerful and much liked in his platoon who regret that he has gone. " The sad news was afterwards officially confirmed. The deceased soldier was home on furlough last Christmas Eve, and proceeded to France in the New Year. He leaves a widow and one tiny child, as well as three brothers, and two sisters (Mrs Cadman and Mrs Porter). The deceased soldier was anticipating a short leave from the front for the Christmas. A fruitier by trade, he was always interested in his parent's business. In one of his letters home, he writes:- "You would be astonished to see the fruit that is lying about for the want of getting in. I have seen some fruit in my time, but never as much as I have seen here."